Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have received six R&D 100 awards, increasing the lab’s total to 193 since the award’s inception in 1963.
The competition, sponsored by R&D Magazine, recognizes advances in the nation’s most impactful technologies and the scientists and engineers who led the effort. This year, ORNL researchers earned awards for the following innovations:
The Big Area Additive Manufacturing-CI system was developed by ORNL researchers and Cincinnati Incorporated. BAAM-CI also received an Editor’s Choice award from R&D Magazine.
BAAM-CI, a large-scale additive manufacturing platform, allows arbitrary geometric components to be 3-D printed on a scale 10 times larger than any other commercial system. The system’s screw-extrusion technique also allows the BAAM-CI to deposit material 200 times faster than existing processes.
BAAM-CI is also the first manufacturing project capable of depositing carbon fiber reinforced plastic into printed materials, endowing objects with greater strength and four to seven times the material’s original stiffness. In addition, BAAM-CI remains more energy efficient than traditional manufacturing methods like stamping and blow molding.
Funding for the project was provided by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program and DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.
Collective Offloads Resource Engine Direct Technology was developed by a team of ORNL researchers and Mellanox Technologies.
CORE-Direct is an application acceleration and scaling technology that improves efficiency by offloading complex data-exchanging patterns to the network hardware.
Traditionally, complex data exchange is achieved through software-based multi-stage algorithms, which often causes slower processes and “system noise” that may diminish an application’s efficiency. CORE-Direct excludes the need for these extra steps, relying on the technology’s hardware and software to accelerate applications.
Applications using CORE-Direct technology demonstrated a 51 percent improvement in completion time. CORE-Direct technology is based on an open architecture and supports a wide variety of data exchanging patterns.
The research was funded by ORNL’s FastOS program. CORE received a U.S. patent in August 2014.
Hyperion, or Automated Behavior Computation for Compiled Software, was developed by a team of ORNL researchers led by Kirk Sayre.
Hyperion assesses and computes software or malicious behavior with precise mathematics to prevent inappropriate or illegal access to computer systems.
Since adversaries often exploit a system’s unknown behavior to accomplish their goals, Hyperion is constructed with the unique ability to identify and calculate all unknown inputs under all possible circumstances—without any examining codes.
A second feature allows Hyperion to capture, share, and reuse malware analyst intelligence to detect and eliminate malicious behavior in future scenarios.
Funding for Hyperion was provided by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, Lockheed Martin, Applied Communication Sciences and DOE’s Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Services program.
Multifunctional Superhydrophobic Transparent Glass Coating was developed by a team of ORNL researchers, led by Tolga Aytug, and United Protective Technologies.
This technology is based on a mechanically robust nanostructured layer of porous glass film. The coating can be customized to be superhydrophobic, fog-resistant and antireflective and is ideal for solar panels, lenses, detectors, windows, weapons systems, and many other products.
To be superhydrophobic, a surface must achieve a water droplet contact angle exceeding 150 degrees. This coating has a contact angle of between 155 and 165 degrees, so water literally bounces off, carrying away dust and dirt. This property combined with the suppression of light reflection from a glass surface is critical for improved performance in numerous optical applications.
The base material—a special type of glass coating—is also highly durable, which sets it apart from competing technologies. The fact the coating can be fabricated through industry standard techniques makes it easy and inexpensive to scale up and apply to a wide variety of glass platforms.
The work was supported by ORNL’s Technology Innovation Program.
Porous Graphene Desalination Membrane was developed by a team of ORNL researchers headed by Sheng Dai of ORNL’s Chemical Sciences Division.
This invention, created to desalinate and purify water for human consumption, contains a single layer of exceptionally thin graphene, a single layer of carbon atom organized in a hexagonal lattice on a perforated silicone support.
At one-atom thickness, the membrane’s permeability is engineered to allow high water transport while blocking all salt molecules in the purified stream and reducing energy consumption found in traditional techniques.
The graphene’s porous design also encourages a process similar to reverse osmosis, further preventing salt molecules from moving into the freshwater side of the membrane. A smaller surface area adds to the technology’s cost effective appeal and potential to replace standard desalination techniques, minimizing capital cost and a desalination facility’s footprint in large-scale operations.
Funding for the Porous Graphene Desalination Membrane was provided by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.
Genoa 3D Printing Simulation Software, submitted by AlphaStar Corp., with ORNL support led by Vlastimil Kunc.
Alpha STAR Corp. collaborated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to offer a 3-D printing simulation platform using GENOA software to accurately predict printability of products with the focus on deflection, residual stress, damage initiation, and crack growth formation observed during the 3-D printing process.
The software offers an in-depth study of crack and damage formations that may occur during the manufacturing process, with the ability to generate the model directly from the printer file and simulate the printing process considering material and production defects and uncertainties.
Funding was provided by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.
ORNL also received a silver special recognition award from R&D Magazine in the Market Disruptor Services category for the Infrared Nondestructive Weld Examination System, developed by ORNL researchers Zhili Feng and Jian Chen with partners ArcelorMittal USA and Eagle Bend Manufacturing Inc.
This welding quality inspection and monitoring system, which utilizes infrared thermography, can evaluate vehicle parts during and after welding, sending continuous feedback to production lines to correct any internal issues.
The technology offers a more timely diagnosis of such problems, and is described as “highly reliable.” The welding technology is also the first of its kind to guarantee nondestructive inspection while still analyzing all welds made in vehicle production.
Funding for the technology was provided by the Vehicle Technologies Office’s Lightweight Materials Program in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit http://science.energy.gov/.
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