For more than 25 years, QuesTek has helped clients overcome materials challenges and drive innovation in various industries and for many applications, including additive manufacturing, aerospace & defense, automotive, energy, medical & dental, oil & gas, space exploration, and sustainable manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing

Aerospace & Defense



Medical & Dental

Oil & Gas

Space Exploration


Over the past 25 years, QuesTek has used its ICME physics-based modeling process to solve a wide range of materials challenges in Additive Manufacturing (AM). QuesTek has successfully completed over 100 AM and 3D printing engagements across multiple industries, including automotive, aerospace and energy, to help develop materials and processes in metal additives, and has designed and patented new alloys.

For example, when a client has an alloy that cracks during printing, QuesTek works to identify the root cause of failure and modifies the composition to mitigate the cracking while maintaining its properties. We use our patented ICMD® software to create spot-on printability maps to accelerate a qualification.

  • Services: Materials design, heat treat modification and optimization, cracking mitigation, computational methods in lieu of trial and error
  • Clients: DARPA, Army, Navy, Air Force, corporate entities
  • Materials addressed: Nickel, aluminum, titanium, steels, niobium, tungsten, magnesium, high entropy alloys, Invar, metallic glasses and other complex alloy systems

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QuesTek is on the cutting edge of the digital transformation of the aerospace industry. The ICME physics-based modeling approach and ICMD® software have been used to create materials for unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters, as well as ground vehicles, submarines and ships. QuesTek’s technology has provided a competitive advantage, particularly when timeframes are tight and materials must be created, tested and certified quickly.

As an example, the modeling for QuesTek’s Ferrium® M54 steel eliminated the need for multiple production-scale heats, heat treatments and characterizations, while still giving the U.S. Navy the confidence to start manufacturing test components prior to certification

A collaboration with NORSK Titanium produced nickel alloy Inconel Alloy 625 wire that provides an alternative to casting for large aerospace and industrial components and bypasses supply chain issues. Using the trial-and-error method would require dozens of test cases, but QuesTek’s technology and process lowers that to one or two.

  • Services: Materials design, heat treat modification and optimization
  • Clients: U.S. Department of Defense, aerospace OEMs
  • Materials addressed: Nickel, aluminum, titanium, steels, refractory alloys

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From the racing circuit to the weekday commute, QuesTek has had an impact on drivers of all types. Applying knowledge gained partly through work with the Department of Defense, we have developed, and proven, metallic alloys used in consumer automobiles, resulting in advanced, high-strength steels and aluminums that have been used as engine components and in body structures. QuesTek has created low-cost, high-performance gear steels for lightweighting and increased power density and we are currently developing gear steels to help increase the range of electric vehicles.

QuesTek’s steels are also used in the transmissions of high-performance racing machines on the winningest Formula 1 teams in the world. And we've supported high-performance racing manufacturing programs by helping teams apply metal additives to their vehicles.

  • Services: Materials design, heat treat modification and optimization
  • Clients: Formula 1 racing teams, automotive OEMs
  • Materials addressed: Aluminum alloys, high-strength sheet aluminum alloys, cast aluminum for high-temperature engine blocks

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QuesTek is helping to bring efficiency and sustainability to the energy industry, unlocking new possibilities in operational and temperature performances. By enabling new heights of performance, materials designed by QuesTek are often the catalyst for more efficient systems, a critical part of global efforts to meet carbon emission reduction and clean energy goals. For instance, we designed a cast single-crystal nickel alloy for industrial gas turbine blades that allows for higher operating temperatures while reducing cost and improving performance.

We also support materials development for nuclear power technologies, which are a big part of energy’s future but come with significant materials challenges. QuesTek helps early-stage companies in the nuclear industry with material selection and optimization to enable systems to operate as designed. Additive manufacturing plays a big role in these materials challenges.

  • Services: Materials design, heat treat modification and optimization
  • Clients: Federal and state agencies, nuclear engineering firms and contractors, oil and gas operators
  • Materials addressed: Nickel

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QuesTek is working with the leading innovators in the medical and dental device field to set new boundaries for what is possible, collaborating to develop fatigue-resistant stents, hip, knee and spinal implants, and biodegradable or bioabsorbable implants. In medical environments, materials often dictate the constraints of life-altering interventions. When implants and devices can be made smaller and longer-lasting, for instance, their effectiveness improves. After all, a smaller device means a smaller incision and quicker healing time, but balancing that with radiopacity has long been a challenge for the industry.

Our advancements in shape memory alloys and other materials have helped create bio-compatible devices that are cost-effective and set new bars in terms of strength, hardness and corrosion resistance. That’s crucial because of the amount of cleaning necessary for medical and dental tools. They need to withstand autoclaving, not corrode and maintain durability.

  • Services: Materials design, heat treat modification and optimization
  • Clients: Medical and dental device manufacturers and medical device supply chain stakeholders
  • Materials addressed: Titanium, cobalt and other metal additives

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QuesTek has helped the oil and gas industry improve system performance. These advancements have allowed companies to transition to more difficult operations amid considerable environmental and operational challenges that can result in hydrogen embrittlement, sulfide stress cracking and stress corrosion cracking. Using ICME, QuesTek has created improved steels for every aspect of oil and gas exploration, production, storage and distribution. The physics-based modeling approach has produced revolutionary materials with both upstream (drilling, downhole tooling, casing/tubing) and downstream (challenging environments for hydrocarbon processing) oil and gas applications.

When a crew needs to drill down deeper into the earth’s crust to capture oil, QuesTek’s novel materials allow gearing components to maintain optimal performance amid extreme heat. QuesTek materials also provide the piping and tubing in the wells with higher corrosion resistance and the ability to withstand higher pressures.

  • Services: Materials design, heat treat modification and optimization
  • Clients: Upstream and downstream oil and gas companies
  • Materials addressed: Steel

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QuesTek designs the materials that are making the new era of space exploration possible, meeting performance requirements that go far beyond any pre-existing material. As a result, QuesTek-designed materials have flown on rockets, traveled to the International Space Station and back, and are specified on the rocket and vehicle systems that are planned to travel to Mars.

We have printed materials for satellites and have been hired to model the melting of lunar soil. A major aerospace OEM currently uses steel patented by QuesTek on multiple critical components that enable previously unachievable performance. QuesTek also created a novel material for the gearbox of a rover designed to withstand the 900-degree temperatures on the surface of Venus.

  • Services: Materials design, heat treat modification and optimization
  • Clients: NASA, private space exploration OEMs
  • Materials addressed: Nickel, steel

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QuesTek drives sustainability in much of its work, both in the properties of the materials we engineer and in the composition of those materials. We have successfully completed many engagements aimed at lightweighting materials used in automobiles, aircraft and more, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.

We have utilized our ICME approach to enable more efficient recycling of aluminum and titanium alloys, incorporating material from multiple scrap streams and tolerating increased impurity content while maintaining high material performance targets.

QuesTek also creates novel materials that drastically reduce the need for rare earth elements (REE), the mining for which often results in environmental contamination. QuesTek has developed high-strength aluminum alloys for additive manufacturing that completely eliminate the need for scandium, an REE used as an alloying element in the highest strength aluminum alloys. We have also designed a castable single-crystal nickel-based superalloy that provides high processability and creep performance while using far less rhenium, one of Earth’s rarest elements, compared to other Ni-based superalloys on the market today.

  • Services: REE reduction and elimination, lightweighting
  • Clients: Any organization that makes anything with alloys and wants to increase sustainability
  • Materials addressed: Aluminum, iron, nickel, magnesium, and titanium-based alloy systems, among others
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