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U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Award Nanostructured Structural Stainless Steel

August 18, 2003

Evanston, IL, August 18, 2003 – QuesTek Innovations LLC announced that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center for a program entitled “Computational Design of High-Strength, High-Toughness Stainless Steel for Carrier-Based Aircraft Components.”

QuesTek applied its novel computational materials design approach to demonstrate the feasibility for the development of a nanostructured high-strength, high-toughness stainless steel to meet the stringent mechanical properties for carrier-based aircraft components. Dr. Charles J. Kuehmann, Principal Investigator for this project stated that “300M and the higher performance AerMet® 100 are currently used for critical aerospace components, but both alloys are nonstainless and highly susceptible to corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement. As a result, a number of aircraft components, such as landing gear, require a costly cadmium coating process to protect against corrosion.” Cadmium is a known carcinogen and represents significant environmental risks in both primary manufacture, and at Department of Defense overhaul and repair facilities.

QuesTek Materials by Design® technology will be used to develop a series of microstructural toughening strategies to devise novel stainless steel compositions that will match or exceed the more rigid mechanical strength and toughness properties of AerMet® 100 steel, thus eliminating the need for cadmium coating. Kuehmann noted that “a new high strength, high toughness stainless alloy would benefit the environment and have dual-use application potential for commercial aircraft and other commercial markets such as marine equipment.”

QuesTek Innovations LLC (www.questek.com) is a global leader in Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) technologies, serving government and industrial private sectors. Using its proprietary Materials by Design® methodology, QuesTek has rapidly developed breakthrough alloys (based on Fe, Cu, Al, Ti, Co, Mo, W systems), coatings, powders, and other materials that provide improved performance, reduced capital (as well as operating and maintenance costs) and provide competitive advantage. QuesTek has developed four steels that are being used in demanding aerospace and other applications, has a large portfolio of other materials nearing commercialization with more than 20 US patents awarded/pending and relevant international IP coverage. For more information, please contact Jeff Grabowski.

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