Application of ICME to Optimize Processing of State-of-the-art Gear Steels in Additive Manufacturing

Period of Performance: 03/15/2016 - 09/14/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Questek Innovations LLC
1820 Ridge Ave. Array
Evanston, IL 60201
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


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.