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Propulsion Materials Improve Powertrains


Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s transportation research and development in the area of Propulsion Materials is designed to identify and develop advanced materials and processes that improve powertrain system efficiency and reduce emissions. Cutting-edge materials research is crucial to enabling new vehicle technologies that are reliable, fuel efficient, and clean.

ORNL researchers, in close collaboration with US industry, are focusing on materials for advanced engines, hybrid and electric drive systems, and vehicle exhaust systems. These materials promote a variety of performance benefits, including lightweighting, higher temperature capabilities, emissions reduction, thermal management, and corrosion mitigation.

The program utilizes ORNL’s unique suite of materials processing, characterization, and testing capabili­ties, including its neutron science, high resolution microscopy, mechanical properties, and engine testing facilities. Furthermore, advanced materials modeling methods are being utilized to more effectively design and improve critical materials for specific applications. The result is more rapid delivery of a wide range of advanced technologies that enable US manufacturing of higher efficiency drivetrains.

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