Now Touring: ORNL Hosts Virtual Tours of More DOE User Facilities

Source: ORNL | Release | August 28, 2020

 DOE user facilitiesExperience several of the Department of Energy’s national user facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory virtually. ORNL now offers 360-

degree tours of the National Transportation Research Center (NTRC), Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF), Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC) and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF).

Each tour allows viewers to virtually walk around the facilities in the same manner as an in-person tour. Links within the tours provide additional information, including several videos hosted by facility scientists.

Tour highlights include:

  • NTRC – Learn how wireless charging technology and sophisticated power electronics are developed and evaluated; view a variety of engines and understand how research in combustion, fuels and emissions controls leads to greater fuel efficiency; and see research platforms for advancing connected and automated vehicle technologies.
  • CFTF – Stroll down the 390 ft. long carbon fiber processing line to see how low-cost raw materials from textile, lignin, polymer and hydrocarbon-based precursors are processed and identified.
  • BTRIC – Start the visit at the Maximum Building Energy Efficiency Research Laboratory to see some of the current research in progress including the ultrasonic dryer, transactive controls and sensors, and 3D printed precast concrete molds; and go inside equipment used to test the performance of commercial and residential equipment, including the environmental and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and ventilation chambers and large-scale climate simulator.
  • MDF –  See machine tooling in action and how researchers produce, measure and predict machine tool performance; get an inside look at the large-scale additive manufacturing system that made the Shelby Cobra; learn how researchers are advancing real-time characterization to produce perfect parts; and view MedUSA, a hybrid manufacturing machine that enables additive and subtractive capabilities in one unique system.

Established in 2000, the 65,000 sq. ft. NTRC is the only designated user facility that focuses on early-stage research and development in transportation strategies including energy storage and electric drive systems, wireless charging and advanced engines and biofuels, cybersecurity and lightweight material development. Take the virtual tour here.

Established in 2013, the 42,000 sq. ft. CFTF is the only designated user facility for carbon fiber innovation and focuses on developing optimal mechanical properties for carbon fiber material. Take the virtual tour here.

The 60,000 sq. ft. BTRIC campus was established in 1993 and is the only designated user facility dedicated to performing early-stage research and development in building technologies to improve the energy efficiency and environmental capability of residential and commercial buildings. Take the virtual tour here.

The 110,000 sq. ft. MDF was established in 2012 and is DOE’s only designated user facility focused on performing early-stage research and development to improve the energy and material efficiency, productivity and competitiveness of American manufacturers. Take the virtual tour here.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit