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NETL’s Accomplishments and Ongoing Materials Research Will Be Displayed at TMS 2023
Alloy Production Furnace

NETL will share its expertise and research in materials sciences, spanning from high entropy alloys to gasification of plastics, among many other topics, at The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society’s (TMS) 2023 Annual Meeting and Exhibition scheduled for March 19-23 in San Diego. 

The conference brings together more than 4,000 engineers, scientists, business leaders, students and other professionals in the minerals, metals, and materials fields from 70 nations for a week of comprehensive, cross-disciplinary exchange of technical knowledge. Lab representatives are scheduled to take part in several presentations, symposiums and other events during the conference.

Among these sessions scheduled is “Additive Manufacturing of Large-scale Metallic Components — Nickel Alloys/Hybrid Additive Manufacturing,” which will delve into applications of new alloys and their roles in an economy increasingly powered by hydrogen.

NETL is at the forefront in designing and manufacturing nickel (Ni)-based superalloys for industrial power generation. Owing to a superior combination of mechanical properties and environmental resistance, this important class of alloys is used in some of the most aggressive service environments involving high-temperatures, high-pressures, corrosive and oxidizing environments. A wide range of established alloy processing and manufacturing practices are commonly used to fabricate superalloy components.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is also increasingly being used due to its demonstrated potential for shorter lead times, near-net shape production, and novel component design and cooling optimization. NETL’s current research activities in additive manufacturing and alloy development of Ni-based superalloys under the Advanced Turbines and Advanced Materials Development research programs will be highlighted at TMS2023. 

NETL researchers will share research on structure-property-processing relationships, developing alloys for hydrogen energy and for service above 800 °C, and optimizing the manufacturing processes for cleanliness and defect-free alloys. NETL’s unique facilities that allow researchers to prototype alloys at industrial scales that accelerate commercialization will also be highlighted; these facilities fill a critical gap in the alloy development research ecosystem.

Another NETL-led presentation, “Behavior of Plastic Ashes in Gasification Environments,” will detail the potential for energy savings in the recycling of plastics via gasification. This work reports ash compositions from various common plastics and their behavior at high temperatures.

Plastic upscaling and recycling is one of the most effective ways to decarbonize the chemical industries. Gasification is a chemical recycling path that enables carbon renewal at elevated temperatures by breaking waste plastics into basic constituents. Significant energy savings in recycling plastics would be possible, not only compared to the mechanical recycling, but also to the traditional gasification because plastics carry higher heating values.

“TMS2023 is a premier materials science event, allowing NETL to showcase our capabilities to the world,” said NETL’s Michael Knaggs, who leads the Research Partnerships and Technology Transfer directorate within the Research and Innovation Center. “Furthermore, this conference presents valuable opportunities to learn from others’ research and success stories while giving us a chance to network. NETL is all about collaboration and the monumental task of decarbonizing our nation’s power sector and economy is too big for any one entity to take on alone.”

TMS 2023 marks the society’s 152nd annual exhibition. Through its Albany research campus, NETL has long established itself as a leader in designing, developing, and deploying advanced materials for use in energy applications and extreme service environments. Some of the Lab’s development and implementation success stories in this field of research include alloy-based metal catalysts and electrochemical technologies that convert power plant waste streams such as carbon dioxide into valuable fuels and chemicals, among other achievements.

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.