Computational Materials Design of a High-Strength Copper Alloy for Replacing BeCu Alloys
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
QuesTek Innovations is proposing to use its computational materials design technology to demonstrate the feasibility of improving the strength of beryllium-free copper alloys to create a non-toxic substitute for beryllium-copper (BeCu) alloys. Beryllium is a unique element used in various alloys that are indispensable in a wide range of demanding military and commercial applications. When used as an alloying element, Be dramatically affects the properties of several base metals. Due to their low inherent coefficient of sliding friction, high-strength BeCu alloys are widely used for load-bearing applications such as bushings. Cu with 1.9 wt% Be, designated as C17200, is a precipitation hardening alloy that achieves the highest strength in Cu-based alloys. However, the Federal government, through OSHA and the DHHS, has issued alerts to the potentially deadly consequences of exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds. These health hazards have forced suppliers, manufacturers and end users away from using beryllium whenever possible, but for many applications, BeCu is currently the only suitable material. Based on the technical advances in the computational design of unique materials, this Phase I program will design and evaluate prototype beryllium-free high-strength, high-conductivity copper alloy for "drop-in" substitution of existing BeCu alloys.
Small Business Information at Submission:
QUESTEK INNOVATIONS LLC
1820 Ridge Avenue Evanston, IL 60201
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