QuesTek Innovations LLC of Evanston, Ill., received approval for its proprietary M54 steel to be used in hook shanks for the T-45 aircraft. The process of approval, which often requires 10-20 years of development and testing, was achieved in six years. In late 2013, the Navy tested and qualified hook-shank arresting gear components made from Ferrium M54 steel for the T-45 aircraft, in part because it provided more than twice the component life over the currently used steel. The benefits of using Ferrium M54 steel include superior strength, toughness, fatigue resistance and stress-corrosion-cracking resistance. An order for 40 Ferrium M54 steel hook shanks has been authorized, and QuesTek will manage the material procurement as well as the forging, machining, heat-treating and finishing processes. The Navy has also agreed to allow Ferrium M54 steel on selected F/A-18 aircraft landing-gear components.
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