Source: Newswise | January 12, 2018

The Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) today announced the funding of $450,000 for the first two private-public partnerships under a brand-new initiative aimed at discovering, designing and scaling up production of novel materials for severe environments.

The projects are the first to receive funding under the HPC4Materials for Severe Environments (HPC4Mtls) program, led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in strong partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The program seeks to engage industry with DOE’s high-performance computing systems and expertise in modeling and simulation to predict material performance and behavior in severe environments, and assist with data interpretation and analytics.

“We are excited to expand the technical areas in which high performance computing can impact the industrial sector to include materials in severe environments,” said Lori Diachin, director of the HPC4Mtls program. “This program will be critical in showcasing how high-performance computing can help address key challenges in developing, modifying or qualifying new or modified materials.”

The two seedling projects are: Arconic Inc. partnering with LLNL and ORNL to improve microstructure modeling of additive manufacture metal parts, which is expected to provide essential information for tailoring mechanical performances of 3D printed alloys by controlling their solidification microstructures; and Vacuum Process Engineering working with Sandia National Laboratory to simulate the lifetime of compact microchannel heat exchangers (MCHEs), an essential component to several clean energy technologies including hydrogen fueling stations and supercritical carbon dioxide.

The Arconic project with LLNL and ORNL is funded jointly by the Office of Fossil Energy through HPC4Mtls, and the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) through the HPC4Manufacturing program. The project will receive $150,000 from FE and $150,000 from AMO. Sandia’s project with Vacuum Process Engineering will receive $300,000 in funds from FE.

“This is a new pillar under the HPC4EnergyInnovation program umbrella that will have an impact across a broad spectrum of industries and energy offices who need accelerated materials research,” said LLNL’s deputy director for Energy and Climate Security Jeff Roberts, who helped create the HPC4Mtls program. “The national labs will bring significant expertise to help companies discover, make, and manufacture new materials to perform in extreme conditions.”

The HPC4Mtls program seeks to dramatically reduce the cost and development time, and increase performance of materials in severe environments across a wide swath of industrial sectors. Goals include predicting behavior in severe environments, improving the performance of alloys, scaling up materials from gram to kilograms, and developing a better of understanding of critical processes such as oxidation, corrosion and electrochemical interactions. Under the program, industry partners provide in-kind contributions of at least 20 percent of the total project budget.

The HPC4Mtls program is currently sponsored by the DOE Office of Fossil Energy. Principal partnering laboratories are ANL, NETL, ORNL. Other laboratories within the DOE complex are eligible to participate, and the program is seeking additional partners. The next HPC4Mtls solicitation will take place later this month.