QuesTek Wins SBIR Phase II Award to Demo Ferrium M54 Steel for Navy Aircraft Tailhooks

QuesTek Innovations LLC has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project from the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to fabricate and experimentally test aircraft tailhooks made from QuesTek’s new economical, high strength, high toughness Ferrium® M54™ steel. Relevant laboratory tests of M54 are expected to be performed, as well as a cost-benefit analysis. The 2-year contract is valued at $749,991, and is a collaborative effort between the Navy, QuesTek, OEM manufacturers, and testing laboratories.

The advantages of M54 over the incumbent steel often used for tailhooks are expected to include superior strength, toughness, stress corrosion cracking (SCC) resistance, surface hardness and thermal resistance (due to M54’s higher final tempering temperature), which may eliminate the need for thermal/wear resistance coatings currently in use today.

QuesTek computationally designed and developed M54 under earlier Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and II projects awarded by NAVAIR. M54 is currently being evaluated, tested or used in oil and gas, racing, naval aircraft landing gear and other product applications. Latrobe Specialty Steel Co. of Latrobe, PA, USA commercially produces and sells M54 under their license from QuesTek.

Charlie Kuehmann, President and CEO of QuesTek, commented: “We thank NAVAIR for this award and the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of Ferrium® M54™ in this highly demanding and safety critical product application. This project provides another illustration of QuesTek’s integrated, applied approach to computational materials design, in which we work closely with clients from concept through design and then application of materials to improve product performance.”

Source: QuesTek Innovations LLC
Date: Jul 3, 2012