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Artificial limbs help to restore normal function to amputees. Surface materials for prostheses need to look realistic, hold up to exposure, and mimic skin. ORNL scientists combined superhydrophobic polymer inventions with carbon nanotubes to create a self-cleaning skin-like surface material with the ability to transmit heat. This material provides an improved external covering for mechanical prost…

Researchers at ORNL have developed a faster and more cost-effective method of oxidizing and stabilizing thermoplastic materials than is currently used in conventional carbon fiber production. This invention increases the rate of oxygen diffusion and chemical cross-linking of the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor or other polymeric materials. The production of carbon fibers from polymeric material…

: Fact Sheets
: Plasma, Oxidation, Material...

Production of Materials with Superior Properties Utilizing High Magnetic Field Processing materials in a magnetic field is an innovative and revolutionary means to change materials and structural properties by tailoring the microstructure. Properties, equivalent or beyond, can be achieved with significantly less energy than materials treated by conventional thermal methods. New properties can als…

: Fact Sheets
: Alloy, Metal, Material...

Pulse Thermal Processing of Functional Materials Using a Directed Plasma Arc Using pulses of high density infrared light from a directed plasma arc, ORNL researchers invented a method to thermally process thin films and other functional materials on temperature-sensitive substrates. This approach, pulse thermal processing, could revolutionize the handling of functional materials because it reduce…

: Fact Sheets
: Plasma, Thin Film, Infrared...

High-Performance Plastics from Renewable Sources Lignin, a complex polyphenol found in lignocellulosic biomass, is the third most abundant natural polymer and accounts for up to 30% by weight of wood. This valuable by-product of the biorefinery and pulp and paper industries is produced in quantities exceeding 200 million metric tons annually. Significant commercial potential exists for the conv…

Carbon Nanotubes Grown on Various Fibers ORNL researchers invented a method for growing carbon nanotubes on the surfaces of various fiber materials, including quartz, carbon, and activated carbon fibers. These materials may have significant applicability for a variety of advanced fiber composites and products, such as aviation structural materials and military armor. The materials could also co…

: Fact Sheets
: Fiber, Carbon Nanotube, Carbon...

Catalytic Conversion of Bioethanol to Hydrocarbons A method for catalytically converting an alcohol to a hydrocarbon without requiring purified or concentrated alcohol was invented by ORNL researchers. This approach can be used for relatively dilute bio-mass produced alcohols, such as those found in a biomass fermentation reactor. Conventional biomass to hydrocarbon conversion is generally not c…

To dramatically improve the wear resistance characteristics of titanium aluminide (Ti-Al) intermetallic alloys, ORNL researchers invented a surface treatment method using oxygen diffusion. Preliminary study has demonstrated a friction reduction of 20% and a wear reduction of at least three orders of magnitude when dry sliding against a bearing steel. Ti-Al intermetallic alloys are known for their…

: Fact Sheets
: Alloy, Oxygen, Titanium Alloy...

Calcium Hexa Aluminate Linings for Alkaline Environments A new composition of calcium hexa aluminate developed at ORNL is a highly effective chemical barrier against corrosive materials inside storage, process, and transport vessel containers. The CA6 composition protects containers from the critical temperatures and chemical environments created by alkali and/or high alkaline salts or salt formi…

: Fact Sheets

Novel Nanopore Membrane Technology Recovers Energy from Industrial Effluents A vast amount of energy is wasted in the United States from the exhaust/effluent streams of an estimated 163,000 commercial and industrial boilers. Much of this energy could be recovered by sieving the streams through inorganic membranes featuring nano-sized pore technology. The estimated savings by 2030 for energy recov…

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