NETL’s Advanced Alloys Signature Center (AASC) will drive the development of next-generation, high-performance materials needed to generate affordable, clean electricity, support growth in emerging U.S. industries and strengthen America’s position as a world leader in alloy design and production.
The Lab plans to refresh and expand its alloys manufacturing capabilities in Albany, which will allow U.S. industry, government agencies (including other national laboratories) and research universities to prototype alloy solutions that will accelerate commercialization of advanced materials.
NETL is internationally recognized for its leadership in designing, developing and deploying advanced materials for use in energy applications and extreme environments. The Lab’s Albany site currently maintains facilities for melting, casting, forging, rolling and heat-treating materials. However, the U.S. does not have a research facility that can prototype alloys at scales that easily translate to industrial practice.
“The AASC will fill this gap by prototyping alloys at scales of up to 500 pounds,” said NETL’s David Alman, Ph.D., associate director, Materials Engineering & Manufacturing.
Development of advanced alloys is essential to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the power sector by 2035 and the broader economy by 2050, key goals of the Biden Administration to address climate change.
The diversification of fossil energy power generation sources through greater use and penetration of intermittent, renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, is transforming the electrical grid, resulting in plant assets and components being subjected to cyclic operating conditions. The extreme changes in temperatures and pressures brought on by cyclic conditions increase performance demands on the materials of construction.
“The new center will not only address the need to develop alloys that can thrive in harsh service environments, but the center will also be instrumental in creating alloys specifically designed for additive manufacturing, as well as high-performance materials for renewable and nuclear power generation, chemical processing and the aerospace, defense, transportation and medical sectors,” Alman said.
Advanced alloys and specialty metals are a $32 billion annual market. This nationally unique facility will enable prototyping at near-industrial scale and help the U.S. maintain and grow global leadership in this industry.
NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.