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ORNL, University of Toledo to collaborate on advanced materials, manufacturing research for vehicle applications

The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Toledo have entered into a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research into the advanced design and manufacturing of high-strength, intelligent, lightweight materials for use by the automotive sector.

The partnership brings together the manufacturing, carbon fiber and composites, machining, energy storage and metrology expertise and capabilities at ORNL with the manufacturing system modeling, metals engineering, assembly systems and other expertise at The University of Toledo. The collaboration expects to also engage with the automotive industry in Ohio and Michigan.

As the US automotive industry continues to focus on strong, lightweight materials to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles, advanced manufacturing will play a key role in developing new processes to produce alloys and metals. Lightweight materials are critical for hybrid-electric, plug-in electric, and electric vehicles in particular as they improve energy efficiency and increase range.

Some of the research areas the collaboration plans to advance include monitoring and control systems for metal forming processes; optimizing joining techniques for high-strength materials such as steel, aluminum and composites; and exploring the combination of new materials such as shape-memory alloys with additive manufacturing to create strong, resilient, active structures for vehicle applications.

The research is expected to engage the capabilities of the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL, DOE’s only designated user facility focused on performing early-stage research and development to improve the energy and material efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of American manufacturers, as well as the lab’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, DOE’s only designated user facility for carbon fiber innovation.

Comments

HarveyD

Improved lower cost carbon fiber and other lighter materials could reduce the total weight of all ground and air vehicles, greatly reduce the energy required and further reduce pollution and GHGs.

Manufacturing of electrified (ground and air) vehicles should be mandated to use lighter materials.

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