AMMTO pursues novel materials and manufacturing processes to support the clean energy transition and manufacturing competitiveness. AMMTO focuses on advanced materials, processes, and digital systems that enhance material and energy efficiency of manufacturing and deliver benefits throughout the economy. These advances can also improve the resiliency of domestic supply chains for all products, including for clean energy technologies.
What are AMMTO’s Next Generation Materials and Processes focus areas?
High Performance Materials
Novel materials have improved properties, such as high strength, high-temperature performance, and/or enhanced conductivity, that improve the functionality or extend the lifetime of products that use them, increase their lifecycle energy and material efficiency, and/or expand their range of use environments.
Strong, lightweight composites deliver a variety of energy efficiency benefits and enable clean energy applications. For example, lighter, stronger composites can reduce the weight of vehicles and airplanes, leading to greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Similarly, advanced composites can lead to longer, more efficient wind blades. AMMTO supports research, development and demonstrations (RD&D) of composite manufacturing, connects industry with resources at national labs, and facilitates broader public-private collaboration through its network of Manufacturing USA institutes and hubs.
Harsh service conditions such as high temperatures and pressures are common at industrial facilities and in operating environments for clean energy technologies, including geothermal and solar thermal electricity generation, nuclear reactors, hydrogen storage, and thermal storage. Having materials that can withstand higher temperatures and pressures can support operating conditions that are more energy efficient. AMMTO supports RD&D of these novel materials.
As the nation strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through economy-wide electrification, reducing energy losses in electrical systems becomes increasingly important. To address this need, AMMTO supports RD&D of conductivity-enhanced materials. Enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity reduces energy loss and therefore increases the energy efficiency of electrical devices from industrial heat pumps to electric vehicles.
Advanced Manufacturing Processes
Manufacturing process innovations improve manufacturing competitiveness by enabling new materials and technologies to be produced with precision, quality, flexibility, and controllability, as well as material and energy efficiency. Materials and manufacturing processes must often be co-optimized when developing new materials and processes. As a result, the advanced manufacturing processes and high-performance materials RD&D are well integrated.
Advanced manufacturing processes, such as additive manufacturing, near net shape manufacturing, and roll-to-roll manufacturing, are critical to manufacturing clean energy technologies and improving manufacturing competitiveness. AMMTO supports innovations in manufacturing processes to deliver materials and material systems with the properties required for next generation energy technologies. AMMTO also focuses on material and energy efficiency of these advanced manufacturing processes. To support advanced manufacturing processes, AMMTO invests in RD&D, connects industry with resources at national labs, and facilitates public-private RD&D collaboration.
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The collection and use of manufacturing data has the potential to provide insight and drive optimization at multiple scales, including for real-time process control, product design, and supply chain management for resilience. RD&D is needed not only to realize this potential, but to ensure that U.S. manufacturing is secure against cyberattacks that are increasingly becoming threats to the manufacturing base.
Complex computational models yield valuable insights, which can lower energy costs and emissions and improve process yields and quality across the clean energy manufacturing economy. AMMTO connects industry with supercomputing resources at national labs to expedite energy efficiency and other improvements across manufacturing processes important to manufacturing of clean energy technologies.
AMMTO supports RD&D for smart manufacturing technologies and for hardening smart and automated systems against cyber threats to increase the resilience of manufacturing supply chains. Smart manufacturing, which includes the use of enhanced sensors and controls to monitor and adjust manufacturing processes in real-time, can increase energy efficiency, increase throughput, improve product quality, and lower industrial emissions. Education and workforce development is a critical piece of both of these areas and is being advanced through AMMTO-led public-private partnerships.
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Next Generation Materials and Processes News
Recent Reports and Resources
- Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications (CABLE) Workshop Report
- 2020 Materials for Harsh Service Conditions Workshop
- Transformative, Resilient, Adaptive, Nimble, Sustainable, Smart, Flexible, Optimal, Robust, and Model-based (TRANSSFORM) Workshop Report
- National Smart Manufacturing Strategic Plan
- Electrochemistry for Manufacturing