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Materials Science and Engineering


ORNL’s core capability in applied materials science and engineering directly supports missions in clean energy, national security, and industrial competitiveness. A key strength of ORNL’s materials science program is the close coupling of basic and applied R&D.  Programs building on this core capability are focused on (1) innovations and improvements in materials synthesis, processing, and design; (2) determination and manipulation of critical structure–property relationships, and (3) materials performance and lifetime prediction in application-relevant, often very extreme environments. Current R&D areas include energy-efficient and advanced manufacturing; lightweight materials (e.g., carbon fibers and carbon fiber composites, magnesium, and titanium); replacement and separation technologies for critical materials; advanced steels and coatings; nuclear fuels and structural materials; batteries; lightweight materials for transportation; and long-lived alloys, ceramics, and carbons for service in extreme environments (e.g., high temperature/pressure/stress) and radiation environments.

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