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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 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.

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
An international research team used scanning tunneling microscopy at ORNL to send and receive single molecules across a surface on an atomically precise track. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences contributed to a groundbreaking experiment published in Science that tracks the real-time transport of individual molecules.

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.

The image shows a visualization of a radiation transport simulation for a spaceflight radioisotope power system and complex interactions of radiation fields with operational environments. Credit: Michael B. R. Smith and M. Scott Greenwood/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a first-of-a-kind toolkit drawing on video game development software to visualize radiation data.

Drawing of air taxi

If air taxis become a viable mode of transportation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have estimated they could reduce fuel consumption significantly while alleviating traffic congestion.

Fungi use signaling molecules called LCOs to communicate with each other and to regulate growth. Credit: Jessy Labbe/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators have discovered that signaling molecules known to trigger symbiosis between plants and soil bacteria are also used by almost all fungi as chemical signals to communicate with each other.