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QuesTek Awards First Production License of Ferrium® M54™ to Latrobe Specialty Steel Company (Now Carpenter Technology)

April 05, 2010

LATROBE, PA and EVANSTON, IL, April 5, 2010 - QuesTek Innovations LLC has awarded a license to Latrobe Specialty Steel Company (now Carpenter Technology) to produce and sell Ferrium® M54. This is the first license awarded to produce commercially and sell this alloy using QuesTek’s compositions, processing expertise and intellectual property. Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.

Ferrium M54 is a premium-quality steel that offers ultra high strength and toughness, having an ultimate tensile strength of 294 ksi, yield strength of 250 ksi, and fracture toughness of 110 ksi square root inch as typical properties. QuesTek computationally designed and developed M54 to be a cost-effective alternative to alloys such as AerMet® 100 (in part by limiting high-cost alloying elements such as cobalt), while meeting or exceeding all key properties. Applications of this class of alloys can include aircraft landing gear and arresting tailhooks, shock struts, tow bars, drive shafts, actuators, blast containment devices, fasteners, golf club face inserts and other highly-loaded components.

QuesTek received funding and direction from the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to computationally design and develop M54, under both an earlier Phase I and a current Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project. NAVAIR also recently awarded QuesTek a Phase I SBIR project to evaluate and test M54 and other materials for arresting tailhook applications.

QuesTek’s design, development and licensing of M54 builds upon its earlier design, development and licensing of Ferrium S53®, another commercially-available ultra high strength steel. While M54 has significantly greater yield strength and fracture toughness than S53, the resistance of S53 to general corrosion is far greater than that of M54.

Scott A. Balliett, Latrobe Specialty Steel’s Director of Technology and Quality, said: “We’re pleased to further build our relationship with QuesTek and offer our global customers another valuable new premium-quality VIM VAR steel. Ferrium M54 VIM VAR should help our customers reduce costs and improve the performance and durability of their products for vital defense, energy, commercial and other industrial applications. We produce this alloy and many other premium alloys in our state-of-the-art vacuum melting (VIM) and vacuum remelting (VAR) facilities, including the recent VIM and VAR expansion to our Latrobe, PA facility.”

Charlie Kuehmann, QuesTek’s President and CEO, said: “We’re pleased to award this license to Latrobe. The commercial introduction of Ferrium M54 further demonstrates how our Materials by Design® technology and expertise can simultaneously reduce costs and improve the performance of materials. We look forward to working with Latrobe and with customers and design engineers worldwide to identify product applications that can benefit from using M54 as well as our other licensed alloys Ferrium S53, C61™ and C64™.”


Carpenter Technology Corporation is an international developer, manufacturer and distributor of cast wrought and powder metallurgy specialty alloys/metals including superalloys, ultra-high strength steels, and stainless steel, as well as titanium alloys in a range of product forms. Headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania, Carpenter Technology maintains manufacturing and distribution operations throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia.


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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