Two projects funded by the Critical Materials Institute, a U.S. Department of Energy Energy Innovation Hub, were selected as R&D 100 Award winning technologies. Winners of the 2017 awards were announced Friday, Nov. 17 at the R&D Conference in Orlando, Fla. In total, DOE projects garnered 33 R&D 100 Awards.
The two CMI funded projects were:
ACE: The Ageless Aluminum Revolution. Lightweight materials such as aluminum alloys can help substantially increase the efficiency of vehicles and airplanes. ACE is a new family of aluminum alloys that exhibits better performance at high temperatures and is easier to cast than previous alloys. Manufacturers can successfully cast ACE alloys in a wide variety of structural components without energy-intensive heat treatments. Eliminating these treatments could significantly increase production output and reduce manufacturing costs in some cases by almost 60 percent. This was developed with the Critical Materials Institute, a U.S. Department of Energy Innovation Hub led by the Ames Laboratory, along with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Additively Printed High Performance Magnets were developed by a team of researchers from ORNL and co-developed by Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute (CMI), Magnet Applications Incorporated, Tru-Design and Momentum Technologies. Additively Printed High Performance Magnets are the first rare earth bonded magnets created using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing method, allowing for rapid production with no size or shape limitations and minimal material waste. In contrast to more common sintered magnets that require the application of very high pressure to chemically reactive materials, bonded magnets are less expensive and resource-intensive to produce. The magnet feedstock blends a magnetic powder with a nylon polymer and the finished magnets demonstrate comparable or better magnetic, mechanical and microstructural properties than bonded magnets created with traditional injection molding methods. Using the BAAM system reduces energy consumption, lowers production costs and conserves rare earth elements, which are widely used in electronics and are mined and processed overseas.
A complete list of winners can be found at https://www.rd100conference.