<< Back to press releases

QuesTek Receives Phase I Army SBIR

December 17, 2003

QuesTek Army SBIR AwardEvanston, IL, December 17, 2003 – QuesTek Innovations LLC has been awarded a Phase I SBIR from the U.S. Army entitiled “High Strength, Affordable Helicopter Gears.” The objective of this program is to utilize advances in gear steel technology to demonstrate the potential for improvement in bending fatigue strength and contact fatigue strength of gear alloys to enable an increase in the power capability to main helicopter gearboxes with little or no weight increase. Transmission gears are key components to helicopter performance and reliability. High power-density transmission systems in helicipters and other aerospace platforms represent a significant amount of the weight of these vehicles, and their failure typically results in a catastrophic event.


Many improved alloys and processes for helicopter gears have been attempted using traditional “trial and error” methods. These efforts typically result in only marginal improvements in performance, and often involve very complex processing schedules, limiting their reliability and relegating them to expensive niche applications. Working with Bell Helicopter, QuesTek will evaluate alternative processing surface treatments for conventional helicopter gear alloys, which will then be compared to QuesTek’s advanced gear steels Ferrium® C61 and Ferrium® C69.


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.

<< Back to press releases