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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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A 3D printed turbine blade demonstrates the use of the new class of nickel-based superalloys that can withstand extreme heat environments without cracking or losing strength. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have demonstrated that a new class of superalloys made of cobalt and nickel remains crack-free and defect-resistant in extreme heat, making them conducive for use in metal-based 3D printing applications.

ORNL researchers used the award-winning Amanzi-ATS model to simulate groundwater flow in Arctic ecosystems. As thawing permafrost sinks lower beneath the surface, groundwater flows deeper underground and, therefore, stays colder as it flow into streams. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Copenhagen, the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey showed that hotter summers and permafrost loss are causing colder water to flow into Arctic streams, which could impact sensitive fish and other wildlife.

ORNL welder Devin Johnson uses a new orbital welder to seal a hollow target in a glovebox in the lab’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center. The new welder makes a clean seam on the metal target, eliminating the need for hand-finishing afterward. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A better way of welding targets for Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s plutonium-238 production has sped up the process and improved consistency and efficiency. This advancement will ultimately benefit the lab’s goal to make enough Pu-238 – the isotope that powers NASA’s deep space missions – to yield 1.5 kilograms of plutonium oxide annually by 2026.

Researchers at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center partnered to design a COVID-19 screening whistle for convenient home testing. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Collaborators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are developing a breath-sampling whistle that could make COVID-19 screening easy to do at home.

The latest data show hydropower represents 6.6% of all electricity generated and 38% of electricity from renewables produced in the United States. Pictured is the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project in Marion County, Iowa. Credit: Missouri River Energy Services

A new Department of Energy report produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory details national and international trends in hydropower, including the role waterpower plays in enhancing the flexibility and resilience of the power grid.

Deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimneys on Brother’s Volcano’s northwest caldera wall create a unique environment for microbes. Credit: Anna-Louise Reysenbach, NSF, ROV Jason and 2018 ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Oak Ridge National Laboratory contributed to an international study that found almost 300 novel types of microbes living near a deep sea volcano. These microbes, which could be used in biotechnology, reveal new insights about their extreme underwater environment.

self-healing elastomers
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed self-healing elastomers that demonstrated unprecedented adhesion strength and the ability to adhere to many surfaces, which could broaden their potential use
The TRITON model provides a detailed visualization of the flooding that resulted when Hurricane Harvey stalled over Houston for four days in 2017. Credit: Mario Morales-Hernández/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A new tool from Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help planners, emergency responders and scientists visualize how flood waters will spread for any scenario and terrain.

The 2021 Fuel Economy Guide, compiled by ORNL researchers, provides tips for keeping fuel costs down and helps consumers find the most fuel-efficient vehicle. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Fuel economy can take a tumble when temperatures plummet, according to the Department of Energy’s 2021 Fuel Economy Guide. Compiled by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the guide includes several tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel performance.

An X-ray CT image of a 3D-printed metal turbine blade was reconstructed using ORNL’s neural network and advanced algorithms. Credit: Amir Ziabari/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Algorithms developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can greatly enhance X-ray computed tomography images of 3D-printed metal parts, resulting in more accurate, faster scans.