With the potential to reduce the weight of vehicle components by up to 60%, carbon fiber composites is one of the most promising lightweight materials available to improve vehicle efficiency. However, its current inputs and manufacturing processes are expensive, severely limiting its use in most high-volume vehicle models.
A liquid sealant developed by Dow Chemical, and evaluated at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was recognized recently for its superior sealant qualities and performance. LIQUIDARMOR, marketed by Dow, won the 2016 Gold Edison Award for Building Construction & Lighting. The Edison Awards honor the best in innovation and excellence in the development of new products and services.
National Lab-Industry Partnership Develops New Technology, Surpasses DOE Efficiency and Cost Goals
Home heating is the largest energy expense for most U.S. homeowners and accounts for nearly 30% of energy used in the nation’s residential buildings. Millions of homeowners in colder regions of the country do not have natural gas available, leaving furnaces to be fueled with heating oil, propane, or electricity. This can often result in higher heating bills for homeowners.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been working with General Motors, Lubrizol, and Shell to develop new additives for lubricants that could boost fuel economy by 2% compared to commercially available synthetic oils. These ionic lubricant additives – organic salts that are liquids at ambient temperatures – may also be able to improve durability in addition to vehicle fuel economy. Once commercialized, this technology could be used immediately by drivers to improve fuel economy in their existing cars without needing to purchase a new vehicle.
In September, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced successful efforts of the the lab’s Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration. The nine-month project reached its goal of 3D-printing an alternative fuel vehicle and a paired building structure, both featuring the unique ability to power one another.