SAE International has issued Aerospace Material Specification 6516 for Ferrium M54, an ultra-high-strength, high-toughness steel designed by QuesTek Innovations LLC that is also highly resistant to Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC).
SAE AMS 6516 covers the procurement of bars, forgings and forging stock of M54 as a double-vacuum-melted (i.e., VIM/VAR) aircraft-quality alloy, and defines chemistry, thermal processing, properties and other material requirements.
QuesTek designed and developed M54 to be a lower-cost, drop-in replacement for AerMet 100 (AMS 6532) under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and II projects sponsored by the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The rapid results of QuesTek's Materials by Design approach to computationally design, develop and qualify new materials are illustrated in SAE's issuance of AMS 6516 less than 48 months after the specific material property design goals were set under the Phase I project. Under their license from QuesTek, Latrobe Specialty Steel Company began commercially producing and selling M54 less than 32 months after the material design goals were set.
The S-basis procurement minimums for M54 are: 240 ksi yield strength; 285 ksi tensile strength; and 100 ksi-ãin fracture toughness. M54 has also demonstrated superior resistance to SCC than competing steels such AerMet 100 and 300M. For economy, M54 contains about 50 percent less cobalt than AerMet 100.
Applications for M54 can include aircraft landing gear, aircraft arresting tailhooks and components, power transmission driveshafts, jet engine shafts and shrouds, drilling equipment, actuators, fasteners, blast tolerant containers, ordnance, sporting goods and other demanding products.
Charlie Kuehmann, President and CEO of QuesTek, commented: "The issuance of SAE AMS 6516 represents an important industry milestone for aerospace applications of Ferrium M54, accelerating the adoption of M54 to reduce costs and improve performance. We thank NAVAIR for their support of M54, and thank SAE's committee and council members for their diligent efforts to issue specifications for new high-performance, engineered materials such as M54."