The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest U.S Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.
We are invited to visit the ORNL on November 9, 2016. The tour started with an introduction of the Laboratory and its establishment during the Manhattan project. Nowadays, the ORNL supports the research and development in four major area of science and technology: Neutrons, Computing, Materials and Nuclear.
After the introduction, we approached one of the most powerful and fastest supercomputer, the Titan, debuted its operation since November 2012. The supercomputer objectives are to address grand challenges such as improving the safety and performance of nuclear power plants and understanding of climate dynamics. The Titan is supercomputer with a theoretical peak performance of 27 petaflops (quadrillion calculations per second).
ORNL and the U.S Department of State is the economic driven of the city of Oak Ridge. Our next visit is the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), the first U.S Department of Energy facility focus on new manufacturing technologies to reduce life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions, lower production cost. During this visit at the MDF, we discovered some new 3D printing technologies in different type of materials (metals, plastics, bamboo fibers, etc.). The 3D printing applications are various from automobile industry, product manufacturing to building materials and structures.
3D printer in action at ORNL
3D printed structure for future building materials
3D printed car (structure and envelope)
I am impressed with all new technologies introduced during the visit at ORNL, especially the 3D printing. I cannot imagine that how technologies can make significant change in our world, in order to approach to the sustainability.