Evanston, IL, United States
Evanston, IL, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 84.97K | Year: 2016

Additive manufacturing (AM) promises to be an innovative technology that can enable rapid manufacturing of complicated parts and greatly reduced cycle time. However, the AM process is complex and involves a large number of processing steps, each with its own set of uncertainties. These uncertainties compound through the AM build process, resulting in parts with widely varying properties across different machines, over time for the same machine, and locally within one part. Improving the build quality of these AM parts and achieving MMPDS B-basis certification requires quantifying and managing the uncertainty in AM parts and materials.QuesTek Innovations, LLCs Accelerated Insertion of Materials (AIM) methodology rapidly qualifies materials for specific applications by coupling modeling/simulation/testing across all stages of component and material development. In this Navy STTR, QuesTek will extend AIM to laser powder bed AM of Ti-6Al-4V by: 1) Adding a Bayesian framework within AIM to propagate input and model uncertainties through Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) models. 2) Refining mechanistic processstructureproperty models for AM Ti-6-4. Propagating uncertainty through these models will give yield strength probability distributions and confidence intervals. The ultimate outcome of this tool will be a more rapid insertion of AM components into Navy technologies.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.96K | Year: 2016

In this Phase I STTR program, QuesTek Innovations, a leader in the field of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) teaming with Prof. W.E. King from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as QuesTeks academic partner, proposes expand the computational Materials by Design technology by developing an Integrated Model Toolkit that enables the modeling of AM process by predicting the local composition, microstructure (including porosity and other defects), residual stresses and/or distortion, and mechanical properties for stainless steel 316L aerospace parts. Our approach is based upon computationally-implemented mechanistic models to predict process-structure and structure-property relationships at length-scales ranging from inter-atomic bonding, to stable/meta-stable phase equilibria, to macro-segregation during solidification. The focus of the Phase I program will be to determine the architecture of the ICME based tool set and define the existing and needed models to fill this architecture. LLNL, whose strategic initiative entitled Accelerated Certification of Additively Manufactured Metals, has extensive experience in development of process models for laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing of 316L stainless steel and experimental measurements of residual stress, laser material interaction etc. Prof. G. Harlow from Lehigh University will work with the team as a consultant on the rapid qualification.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.39K | Year: 2016

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a novel process of fabricating components in a layer-by-layer method under the control of computer-aided design (CAD) information, rather than by the traditional use of casting molds and forming dies. Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) methodologies are effective tools to reconfigure the materials development process and accelerate implementation of new higher performance alloys into demanding applications. QuesTek Innovations, an ICME leader, proposes to develop new LENS Additive Manufacturing techniques and new finite element approaches to characterizing the effect of AM defects on material properties. C64 is a gear steel designed to be an upgrade over X53 via traditional-processing, and serves as a good transition candidate. In Phase I, QuesTek will utilize currently developed ICME tools and models to develop a new gradient deposition technique to produce varying material properties (e.g., in-build carburizing). New finite element techniques will focus on porosity distributions in AM material to statistically determine material properties. QuesTek has support from OEM Bell Helicopter, and will utilize the expertise of Penn State University (AM excellence center) throughout the program. Demonstration of feasibility allows for further optimization, characterization, and wear testing to be accomplished in Phase II work.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.78K | Year: 2016

Phase I efforts will focus on finding HEA compositions that exhibit suitable phase equilibria for blade applications (e.g. FCC/L1 2 two phase equilibria). The search will begin with the construction and validation of a large CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams) thermodynamic database specifically designed for HEA compositions, as current CALPHAD databases are not sufficiently accurate at equiatomic compositions. Such CALPHAD databases are an essential component of any materials design effort and will offer quantitative predictions of phase stability. The HEA database will be based on experimental data as well as exhaustive high-throughput density functional theory (DFT) calculations of the mixing enthalpies for all combinatorially possible FCC, BCC, and L1 2 ternary solid solutions. DFT calculations will be performed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Potential IGT HEA compositions will be identified using the HEA CALPHAD database and then experimentally verified by lab-scale alloy synthesis and characterization. Phase II will consist of applying QuesTek’s Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) technologies on promising Phase I HEAs to optimize composition and processing for improved strength and stability. The feasibility and commercialization of HEA turbine blades will be examined on full-scale prototypes, with full heats of the alloys produced by a specialty alloys producer and blade components tested by an IGT OEM. Phase II will also include extension of the HEA CALPHAD database with additional elements and phases from high-throughput DFT calculations. This will enable the prediction of additional HEA compositions and exploration of the effect of minor alloying elements (e.g. C, N, and S) on HEA properties.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.39K | Year: 2016

Under this SBIR program, QuesTek Innovations LLC will explore the possibility of high entropy alloy (HEA) for industrial gas turbine (IGT) components with its computational alloy design tools and methods. QuesTek is uniquely qualified to find HEAs suitable for turbine components with extensive experience in superalloy design and the rapid development of materials models and databases. Phase I efforts focused on finding HEA compositions that exhibit suitable phase equilibria for blade applications, culminating in the construction and validation of a large CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams) thermodynamic database specifically designed for HEA compositions, as current CALPHAD databases are not sufficiently accurate at equiatomic compositions. Such CALPHAD databases are an essential component of any materials design effort and will offer quantitative predictions of phase stability. The proposed Phase II will consist of using QuesTek’s Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) technologies to develop several HEA blade design concepts. Focus will be placed on optimizing creep, strength, and oxidation performance, made possible by the development of quantitative structure-property models and highperformance computing resources. The performance of intermediate-scale (~10-30 lbs) prototype castings on the above properties will be assessed and compared to benchmark alloys, demonstrating the potential of HEAs for IGT applications. This alloy development program will include several partners: Siemens Power Generation, a leading manufacturer of land-based gas turbines for power plants; Carpenter Technology and H.C. Starck, global leaders in transition metal and refractory alloy production; and Prof. Peter K. Liaw of the University of Tennessee, a world-renowned expert in HEA science. The potent partnership of a materials designer (QuesTek), a top HEA expert (Peter Liaw), alloy producers (Carpenter and H.C. Starck), and an OEM gas turbine manufacturer (Siemens), ensures a successful program for accelerating the development of the currently nascent HEA technology towards a superior commercial product.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.91K | Year: 2016

Additive Manufacturing (AM) promises to be an innovative technology that can enable rapid manufacturing of complex parts at greatly reduced cycle time. With the maturation of selective laser melting (SLM) AM technologies there is increasing interest in applying this manufacturing method to the production of aircraft structural components, many of which are made of high-strength stainless steels. However, recent results from a number of researchers has indicated significant process sensitivities in the SLM processing of high strength stainless steels such as 17-4PH, which if not corrected may limit the application of this manufacturing method. In this Phase I STTR program, QuesTek Innovations, a leader in the field of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME), is partnering with the University of Louisvilles Rapid Prototyping Center to design and develop a new powder specification for high-strength martensitic precipitation-hardenable stainless steel optimized for the unique processing conditions and challenges of Additive Manufacturing processing. QuesTek is uniquely suited to rapidly designing new alloys specifically optimized for AM processing using its advanced Materials by Design stage-gate alloy development process, which is based upon computationally-implemented mechanistic models to predict process-structure and structure-property relationships.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 154.75K | Year: 2016

Under this SBIR program, QuesTek Innovations LLC will explore the possibility of high electrical conductivity components (e.g. wires or cables) with its computational alloy design methodologies and tools. QuesTek’s extensive experience in the ICME approach to alloy design, rapid development of materials databases, and strong track record of material development and scale-up makes it uniquely qualified to find base alloys suitable for covetic conversion and insertion into transmission line components. Phase I efforts will focus on utilizing an ICME approach to design base alloy compositions (e.g. Cu- or Al- base alloys) that exhibit suitable characteristics for creating high electrical conductivity covetic materials for commercial applications. The search will begin with a literature review of existing electrical conductivity and strength models, with a focus on the composition-dependence of electrical conductivity and strength. Design efforts will then focus on optimizing a base alloy that simultaneously maximizes strength and castability while minimizing electron scattering (for the best electrical conductivity). Candidate alloys will be fabricated and converted into covetic material at the 10-lb scale at GDC Industries in Dayton, OH, after which they will be extruded into component form and evaluated for their electrical conductivity, strength, and other properties of interest at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). These property evaluations will be used to update and improve models for optimization in Phase II. In Phase II, QuesTek will apply its Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) technologies on promising Phase I covetic base alloys to optimize composition and processing for improved castability, strength, processability, and electrical conductivity. The feasibility of covetic materials will be examined on full-scale prototypes of high-power transmission cables, with full heats of covetic material produced by a covetic materials producer and cable components tested by an electricity transmission OEM. Phase II will also include extension of the strength and electrical conductivity models to include the effects of microstructural features found within the promising materials. Phase III efforts will be focused on the commercialization of covetic electrical power transmission components and of the electrical conductivity and strength models that will result as a part of this research and development.


In this program, QuesTek Innovations LLC, a leader in the field of computational materials design, proposes to develop a robust creep modeling toolkit that expands its computational Materials by Design® technology, in order to predict the long term creep performance of materials for base alloys and weldments in fossil energy systems under wide thermal and mechanical conditions. Precipitation modeling using thermodynamic databases, e.g., PrecipiCalc® software and vacancy diffusivity prediction with quantum physics-based DFT calculations will provide fundamental quantities that will be used as inputs for upscaling strategies/methods. The ultimate goal will be to establish microstructure sensitive models that capture the different creep mechanisms observed in ferritic steels and integrate the models into QuesTek’s DARPA-AIM efforts to predict the variability of the creep strength as a function of the microstructure and service conditions. In the Phase I effort, the methods proposed will be demonstrated on a specific material class of ferritic steels, but the methodology developed would be applicable to alternate material systems and microstructures through additional ‘modules’ that capture the relevant mechanisms of creep. In Phase II, we will expand the tools and exercise them in wider applications with various materials systems. Additionally, integration of precipitate evolution schemes into the long term material behavior i.e., stability of microstructure and the different phases over long time periods, along with a refined uncertainty quantification of various material and process parameters, will be assessed and calibrated in Phase II. Accurate and efficient quantification of material properties for AUSC boilers will directly enhance the success of DOE’s crosscutting research and new alloy development program and provide significant public benefits. Key words:Long-term creep, precipitation coarsening, 9% Cr ferritic steel, PrecipiCalc, continuum damage model, ThermoCalc, Questek innovations.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 547.45K | Year: 2015

In this Phase II SBIR program, QuesTek Innovations, a leader in the field of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME), proposes to design and develop new aluminum alloys tailored for the unique processing conditions and challenges of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processing. QuesTek is uniquely suited to rapidly designing new aluminum alloys specifically optimized for AM processing using its advanced Materials by Design stage-gate alloy development process, which is based upon computationally-implemented mechanistic models to predict process-structure and structure-property relationships. QuesTek is partnering with Bell Helicopter to define material property objectives and processing constraints for helicopter drive system gear box components, and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (SDM, formerly Harvest Technologies, and a leader in DMLS technologies). QuesTeks partnership provides a close partnership between material designer (QuesTek), AM manufacturer (SDM) and OEM user (Bell). During the Phase I, QuesTek designed a series of new alloys using computational models to target critical design parameters, and fabricated a down-selected concept into powder for DMLS experimentation and coupon-scale evaluation. QuesTeks new alloy demonstrated feasibility of optimizing a new chemistry for AM processing. In Phase II, detailed alloy designs will be executed to yield an alloy that satisfies the total design criteria, and scale evaluation to component-level demonstration.


Patent
Questek Innovations Llc | Date: 2016-06-22

Provided herein are titanium alloys that can achieve a combination of high strength and high toughness or elongation, and a method to produce the alloys. By tolerating iron, oxygen, and other incidental elements and impurities, the alloys enable the use of lower quality scrap as raw materials. The alloys are castable and can form -phase laths in a basketweave morphology by a commercially feasible heat treatment that does not require hot-working or rapid cooling rates. The alloys comprise, by weight, 3.0% to 6.0% aluminum, 0% to 1.5% tin, 2.0% to 4.0% vanadium, 0.5% to 4.5% molybdenum, 1.0% to 2.5% chromium, 0.20% to 0.55% iron, 0% to 0.35% oxygen, 0% to 0.007% boron, and 0% to 0.60% other incidental elements and impurities, the balance of weight percent comprising titanium.

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