Troy Tack, President and Founder
I have been fortunate to work with outstanding mentors, colleagues and companies throughout my career, and it has been exciting to see how a product performance objective or a strategic vision can be fulfilled with advanced alloy inventions. I would like to provide a few examples of my favorite past endeavors – please contact us to brainstorm on your objectives, and let’s see what we can achieve together.
Aerospace Aluminum Lithium Alloy 2195 – The original alloy developed by scientists at Lockheed Martin had a remarkable yield strength of over 100,000 psi, one of the strongest alloys ever on a pound for pound basis. Around this time, the International Space Station was to be built, but a substantial weight reduction in the Space Shuttle was required to increase the payload capability while reaching the 250-mile orbit for payload delivery. I managed the alloy optimization program for alloy 2195 to enable welding fabrication and to attain the critical fracture toughness and yield strength properties down to liquid hydrogen temperatures (-423oF), plus, maintain compatibility with liquid oxygen. The program was scored at 96%, the highest score among all R&D programs, resulted in a $350M contract award and ultimately reduced the weight of the Space Shuttle by a critical 7000 pounds.
Scandium Alloys – In the early 1990’s, I was hired to “create” a market for the rare element scandium, which had a worldwide market of just a few pounds per year at the time! This was a very intriguing assignment that began with frequent travel to Russia and Ukraine, the development of scandium alloy programs utilizing 80 to 100 scientists throughout the prestigious Ukrainian research institutes, and working with a very diversified portfolio of companies including aerospace companies Boeing and Israel Aircraft Industries, sports equipment companies Easton, Taylor Made, True Temper Golf, STX, DeMarini, Nike, Rawlings and automotive companies Norsk Hydro and Daimler Benz, and firearm company Smith & Wesson. The various alloy formulations revolutionized the baseball and softball bat industry beginning with the launch of Easton’s “Redline” scandium bats, and resulted in super lightweight bicycle frames and bicycle components. In one remarkable development, scandium alloys proved highly resistance to impact loads and were then used in high caliber handgun frames – thus enabling the gun weight to be reduced by about one-half!
Titanium Alloys – The M777 Howitzer is 42% lighter than its predecessor due to the use of titanium, but once the initial prototypes were developed, the overall program was approximately $30 million over budget. I managed a Department of Defense ManTech program to convert complex welded M777 components into single piece investment castings, plus, the entire supply chain was optimized to foster competition. The end result was a $40M cost savings to the program. This program provided a 10:1 investment return and was critical in assisting the entire program to cut costs.
I was born and raised in Pueblo, CO and attended the Colorado School of Mines on a football scholarship that enabled me to obtain a B.S. and Masters Degree in Metallurgical Engineering. Aside from my businesses, the largest block of time has been devoted to coaching my daughters in lacrosse when we lived in Maryland, and to coaching my son in football, basketball and lacrosse. I now reside with my family in Montana where we enjoy everything the area offers, with an emphasis on fly-fishing. My latest and greatest endeavor is taking the reins as head football coach at our small, class A high school, an amazing experience under the Friday Night Lights at home in the fall with scenic mountains in the background both at home and on the road.