ORNL’s partners in Wisconsin include Eck Industries, an ORNL technology licensee and family-owned business that produces premium aluminum sand and permanent mold castings. Additionally, ORNL participates in cooperative research and development with Cadens, a company that designs, produces, and deploys hydropower turbines, and Exo-Atomospheric Technologies, an aerospace R&D firm.
ORNL’s user facilities offer a diverse set of tools for experiments across a range of fields, including biology, materials and energy sciences, physics, engineering, and chemistry. Learn more about ORNL’s user facilities. Data reflects fiscal year 2020 except for scientific publications, which covers 2016–2020. Partner stories reflect work conducted from 2016 to present.
ORNL worked with Eck Industries, based in Manitowoc, to compare the heat treatment response of cast aluminum alloy A206 when processed in a magnetic field with that of a conventional heat treatment. Alloys treated using magnetic field processing demonstrated reduction in heat treatment times from fourteen hours to four hours with mechanical properties equal to, or better than the conventionally processed alloys. These results show that magnetic field processing can reduce the time, cost, and energy intensity of heat treatments in aluminum casting.
In partnership with Eck Industries, ORNL codeveloped cerium-aluminum, a new alloy that is ideal for creating lightweight, strong components for advanced vehicles and airplanes. The alloy was developed as part of the Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute with help from Ames Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This new alloy belongs to a family of superalloys best suited for automotive, aerospace, and energy applications due to their light weight, resistance to corrosion, and excellent stability at high temperatures, and can potentially increase production and reduce manufacturing costs by up to 60 percent. ORNL has licensed cerium-aluminum for commercial use by Eck, which won an R&D 100 Award and a Federal Laboratory Consortium award.
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