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QuesTek Wins SBIR Phase II Award to Develop Tools and Design Molybdenum-based Alloys

January 25, 2012

EVANSTON, IL, Jan. 25, 2012 - QuesTek Innovations LLC has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to apply QuesTek’s Materials by Design® technology to develop tools to computationally design molybdenum-based alloys with greater ductility, oxidation resistance, and creep resistance for use above 1,300°C (2,372°F). Process-structure and structure-property models based on custom multi-component thermodynamic and mobility databases will also be developed. In addition, QuesTek will utilize these tools and models to design advanced molybdenum-based alloys that can be manufactured using conventional processes. The two-year contract was issued by the U.S. Army and is valued at $749,892.

Applications for improved molybdenum-based alloys can include components of next-generation rockets and aerospace or land-based turbines, as well as parts of x-ray rotary anodes, high-intensity discharge lamps, and forging dies. Superior molybdenum-based alloys are expected to increase equipment energy efficiencies and/or durability by tolerating significantly higher operating temperatures than existing nickel-based superalloys (due in part to molybdenum’s much higher melting point).

Charlie Kuehmann, President and CEO of QuesTek, commented: “We thank DARPA for this SBIR Phase II award, and the opportunity to design and develop new, transformative molybdenum-based alloys as well as tools to accelerate the practical application of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME). We’ll rapidly apply these novel design tools and models by leveraging our expertise in D3D digital structure modeling and Accelerated Insertion of Materials (AIM), both of which were developed under prior funding from DARPA and others.”


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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