Innovative materials with increased functionality can improve the energy productivity of U.S. manufacturing. Materials with novel properties will enable energy savings in energy-intensive processes and applications and will create a new design space for renewable energy generation.
Breakthroughs in materials science and engineering are needed to enable these new capabilities. Our R&D portfolio will pursue promising materials technologies that offer the potential for major energy, carbon, and economic benefits.
Activities in this area focus on:
- Progressing next generation materials and manufacturing approaches critical to improving functionality and reducing costs and lifecycle impacts throughout manufacturing.
- Solving foundational materials and manufacturing challenges for decarbonization and clean energy by developing novel materials with improved properties, such as materials for harsh environments, and advanced composite and lightweight materials.
Thermal and Degradation Resistant Materials
Innovative materials that are more durable in high-temperature environments than traditional materials will improve productivity, avoid down time, and increase energy productivity. The goal is to increase service life tenfold, decreasing the energy intensity of the materials and components.
- Alumina-Forming Austenitic Stainless Steels
- Deployment of CF8C-Plus Cast Stainless Steels
- Erosion-Resistant Nanocoatings for Improved Energy Efficiency in Gas Turbine Engines
- Robust Polymer Membranes for CO2 Capture & H2 Purification at Elevated Temperatures
- Ultratough, Thermally Stable Polycrystalline Diamond/Silicon Carbide Nanocomposites for Drill Bits
Highly Functional, High-Performance Materials
Advanced industrial materials deployed in energy production and energy transfer equipment can improve the performance of that equipment by 50% or more. Examples include advanced composites, hybrid materials, engineered polymers, and low-density/high-strength metals or alloys.
- Advanced Technology to Manufacture Surfaces with Nano- and Micro-Scale Features
- Large-Scale Manufacturing of Nanoparticulate-Based Lubrication Additives
- Materials and Processes for Advanced Batteries
- Nano Catalysts for Diesel Engine Emission Remediation
- Nano Particle Technology for Biorefinery of Non-Food Source Feedstocks
- Nanostructured Superhydrophobic Coatings
- Self-Assembled, Nanostructured Carbon for Energy Storage and Water Treatment
- Wear-Resistant, Nano Composite Coatings Produced from Iron-Based Glassy Powders
Lower-Cost Materials for Energy Systems
The development and manufacture of materials that offer improved functional properties at low cost can cut the cost of finished products by half. Examples include lower-cost photovoltaic materials and wind system components, electrochemical and thin-film materials, refractories and insulation materials, and materials for heat exchangers or other waste heat recovery technologies.
- Development and Commercialization of Alternative Carbon Fiber Precursors and Conversion Technologies
- Low Cost Microchannel Heat Exchanger - SBIR Phase III Xlerator Program
- Nanocomposite Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries
- New Carbon Fiber Materials Based on Sustainable Resources for Energy Applications
- Process Development for Nanostructured Photovoltaics
New materials and associated production technologies will help America's manufacturers to reduce costs, reduce energy use, reduce pollution, improve product quality, and increase competitiveness.