Designing a new material that does not get put into beneficial, real-world service wastes valuable time and resources. We’ve assembled expertise and unique tools to rapidly qualify, insert, and implement new materials into final service conditions while reducing costs and risks.
Qualification and Insertion
Most engineered materials need to be qualified for service, and approved for use by regulatory agencies and governing organizations. This activity typically occurs in a “Phase III” effort of a material design and development program. In some cases the qualification process is quite lengthy and expensive (with multiple full-scale production heats and runs required for statistical property generation), and unexpected results can be extremely costly. Typical objectives of this stage of a rapid material development program include:
- Manufacture full-scale components made of the new material, in order to verify material properties and demonstrate in-service performance of a full-scale product.
- Develop engineering design allowables to allow product design engineers to use the new material in end-product applications. Significant additional property testing and statistical analysis is often required.
Manage and Deliver
The primary focus of this stage of development is to demonstrate that our newly-designed material can be successfully produced multiple times at full commercial scale with acceptable process variability, and (in many cases) in final product form. Much of the work in this phase of a specific development program is typically performed by our production and processing partners, and our work with them is often accomplished through the development of a Joint Test Protocol (with reporting often done in a Joint Test Report). Our typical activities include:
- Continue to manage the development program, coordinating and assisting our production, processing and testing partners in concert with our client.
- Review and further refine specifications for material production and processing.
- Review test plans and generated data, and consult on any anomalous findings.
- Evaluate additional suppliers or partners as necessary for secondary activities.
- Develop and submit statistically-driven property data and design allowables to governing standards-setting authorities (as necessary), for insertion into engineering design standards.
Minimize Cost and Schedule Risks
We’ve built the expertise, experience and tools to minimize the cost and schedule risks to our clients at this key phase of transitioning a new material to successful real-world service:
- By designing for successful full-scale production and processing from the start of our material design efforts and considering hierarchy of design models across length scales, we’ve typically evaluated and designed-around many of the key issues that can arise and sideline other material development approaches. And by working closely with leading commercial producers and processors throughout our development program, we’ve incorporated early feedback regarding expected variability and other issues at full-scale production levels.
- We may utilize our expertise in the powerful Accelerated Insertion of Materials (AIM) tool in this phase of material development. For example during the property data development for Ferrium S53®, we used our expertise in AIM methodology to make a minor adjustment to the material composition in order to achieve the necessary A-basis Ultimate Tensile Strength of at least 280.0 ksi, which was a key design goal.
- Our experience includes qualifying and inserting materials into some of the most rigorous industries (including aerospace and defense), and we actively participate in leading standards-setting organizations. For example, we’ve qualified and inserted Ferrium S53 into aerospace use, having led the data development and submittal process in order for Ferrium S53 to be inserted in the MMPDS Handbook (formerly, Mil Handbook 5), SAE AMS 5922, and the CINDAS Aerospace Structural Metals Database.