Research in Tri-Cities could make cars and planes more fuel efficient and super strong

Source: Steven Ashby, Tri-City Herald, August 19, 2019

Superman may be known as the “Man of Steel,” but scientific superheroes at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing a novel approach for manufacturing metals with superior strength.

Drawing on deep materials science expertise and engineering know-how, PNNL researchers are paving the way for adoption of new manufacturing methods that could revolutionize the energy, automotive and aerospace industries.

Known as solid phase processing, their techniques use friction to heat, mix and join metals without melting them.

PNNL’s innovations in this area, four of which are already patented and more than a dozen of which have patents pending, promise to decrease the energy required to manufacture components while also delivering higher performance — all at a lower cost.

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