Oak Ridge Technologies Honored with Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 13, 2018 — Technologies developed at the Department of Energy's (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have earned 2018 Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC).

The FLC is a nationwide network of more than 300 federal laboratories, agencies and research centers committed to developing federal technologies and expertise and facilitating their entrance to the public marketplace. The awards are presented annually to laboratory employees who have accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring federally developed technology.

Large Area Additive Manufacturing Technologies, codeveloped by and licensed to Cincinnati Inc. and Strangpresse, is a system capable of 3D printing polymer and composite structures at a scale 10× larger and 500× faster than previous state-of-the-art commercial printing systems with less material and energy waste. The system is also the first to utilize plastic pellet feedstock reinforced with carbon fiber, creating stronger and stiffer components.

Aluminum Cerium (ACE) Alloys were codeveloped by the Critical Materials Institute, Eck Industries, Ames Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, with the license to Eck Industries. ACE is a family of aluminum cerium superalloys that demonstrates exceptional performance suited for automotive, aerospace and energy applications. ACE improves upon typical aluminum alloys with the addition of cerium, an abundant yet underutilized rare-earth element that increases the mechanical strength and stability of the alloy.

The Atmospheric-Pressure Plasma Oxidation Oven was codeveloped by and licensed to RMX Technologies. The oxidation step of the carbon fiber conversion stage is the longest and the most energy- and resource-intensive step of the manufacturing process and is the biggest source of material inconsistencies and mechanical failure. ORNL's oven technology reduces oxidation time and energy consumption while increasing material output and quality, all in a smaller, more robust machine than conventional ovens. The ORNL-RMX oxidation oven addresses a significant bottleneck in the carbon fiber production process and lowers the cost of the final product by 20 percent. The oven can produce all grades of carbon fiber and is an important first step in making carbon fiber composites easily affordable and readily accessible for all industries.

ORNL also received an award for securing four licenses for Low-Cost Carbon Fiber Technology with both large and small businesses. The award recognizes ORNL's strategic advancements in carbon fiber manufacturing and the development of the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, a revolutionary pilot production plant pursued under the DOE's Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative. The innovative method refined at the facility uses affordable precursor materials and an energy-reducing conversion process to produce exceptionally strong, low-density carbon fiber at half the cost. ORNL's low-cost carbon fiber technology enables companies to produce high-quality carbon fiber for applications in transportations, aerospace, renewable energy, infrastructure and manufacturing.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle LLC for the DOE's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the U.S. and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

Published: March 2018
BusinessDepartment of EnergyDOEOak Ridge National LaboratoryORNLExcellence in Technology Transfer AwardsFederal Laboratory Consortium for Technology TransferFLCawardsMaterialsOpticsfiberAmericas

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