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QuesTek Wins STTR Phase II Award to Further Design and Develop a High-Strength, Soft Magnetic Alloy

July 16, 2010

EVANSTON, IL, July 16, 2010 - QuesTek Innovations LLC has been awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase II project from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research to apply QuesTek’s Materials by Design® technology to the final design and development of a new high-strength, soft magnetic alloy. The 2-year contract is valued at $749,604.

QuesTek’s new alloy targets significant improvements in strength and magnetic operating performance over existing iron-cobalt soft magnetic materials such as Supermendur, Hiperco® 27, or Hiperco 50. A principal application for the new alloy is expected to be rotor and stator laminations used in motors, generators, transformers or actuators on aerospace vehicle platforms, in order to improve reliability, increase operating frequency, or reduce component weight and size. Other potential applications may include magnetic bearings, flywheels, sensors, or transducers used in industries such as racing/transportation, or in controllable catheter medical devices.

In this Phase II project, QuesTek will design, produce, process and test an improved alloy design first at intermediate scale, then at full industrial scale, and ultimately in final product form of rolled metal strip. QuesTek will leverage its insights and principles to design materials for properties such as saturation magnetization, magnetic hysteresis losses, temperature performance, electrical resistivity and mechanical strength.

Charlie Kuehmann, President and CEO of QuesTek, commented: “We appreciate this award from the Air Force to develop a new high-performance soft magnetic alloy that can directly address Air Force needs, yet also apply to commercial and industrial market needs. This Phase II award further demonstrates how QuesTek’s Materials by Design technology applies to designing materials to deliver specific electrical and magnetic properties as well as mechanical, thermodynamic and other properties. This program builds upon our past successes such as Ferrium® C61, C64, M54 and S53® alloys, which were developed in part with Department of Defense funding and are now available for commercial, industrial and governmental use from U.S.-based alloy producers under QuesTek’s licenses.”


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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