Public Release: 

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2015

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications staff member identified at the end of each tip. For more information on ORNL and its research and development activities, please refer to one of our media contacts. If you have a general media-related question or comment, you can send it to news@ornl.gov.

MATERIALS - Solar bake test for NASA ...

To test an instrument for a spacecraft that will fly closer to the sun than any before, engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of California-Berkeley used ORNL's powerful plasma-arc lamp to simulate the sun's intense heat flux. Tests at ORNL proved that the instrument for the Fields Experiment--which will measure electric and magnetic fields, radio emissions and shock waves coursing through the sun's atmospheric plasma--can survive high-heat flux during a NASA mission. Solar Probe Plus will pass a mere 3.7 million miles from the sun's surface, where outside temperatures approach 1,200 degrees Celsius. "During the ORNL tests, that temperature was attained with the plasma-arc lamp operating at only 58 percent power," said ORNL's Adrian Sabau. [Contact: Dawn Levy, (865) 576-6448; levyd@ornl.gov]

HEALTH -- Diabetes progression ...

A team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers -- Jack Schryver, James Nutaro and Mallikarjun Shankar -- has produced an agent-based simulation model for behaviors critical to the progression of diabetes type 2. This research approximates essential findings from a complex model of diabetes progression over an aggregated U.S. population. The ORNL model offers a more compact explanation of the disease progression in an effort to understand which factors in the original study best explain the trend of the disease in the United States. Factors in the ORNL models include age, obesity and other health-related human behaviors. The study provides increased understanding of how specific demographics behaviors and social mechanisms could affect disease and healthcare progression. [Contact: Jeff Gary, (865) 574-8066; jeffdgary@ornl.gov]

TRANSPORTATION - Synergistic lubricant pair ...

A new hybrid lubricant additive discovered by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Shell Global Solutions shows tremendous promise for improving energy efficiency and durability of the nation's 250 million cars and trucks. The research team, led by Jun Qu, recently reported on synergistic effects between ORNL-invented ionic liquids and a lubricant additive. With a treat rate of about 1 percent in a base oil, the hybrid lubricant additive demonstrated reductions in friction and wear by 30 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Characterizations revealed a significantly higher-than-nominal additive concentration at the lubricant interface, which researchers believe is responsible for the superior lubricating behavior. The results are published in Advanced Materials (http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.201502037) and highlighted at MaterialsView.com (http://www.materialsviews.com/reduce-wear-synergistic-lubricant-pair/). [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

ELECTRIC VEHICLES -- Wireless charging success ...

With the successful demonstration of a 6.9-kilowatt wireless power transfer system boasting 85 percent grid-to-vehicle efficiency, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and partners are gearing up for the next phase of the electrified vehicles project. The recent demonstration, hosted by Clemson University, utilized several Toyota vehicles and power electronics solutions developed by ORNL. Cisco collaborated with ORNL to provide wireless communications solutions while Clemson's International Center for Automotive Research and International Transportation Innovation Center provided a testing facility and communications integration. Next, researchers will install a sequence of coils that will allow vehicles to receive power wirelessly while in motion at the test site, located in Greenville, S.C. In addition to Toyota and Cisco, other partners in the $8.3 million project are Duke Energy and Evatran. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

COMPUTING -- New tool improves modeling ...

Software developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory allows users to simulate the structure of advanced materials, explore the design of quantum computers and investigate battery performance. The technology, the Eclipse Integrated Computational Environment, greatly reduces the learning curve for new users while improving the efficiency of computational science veterans. "One of its strongest applications is for nuclear energy tools, where it can be used to study fuel performance, reactors and to visualize fuel rods, reactor parts and other components," said Jay Jay Billings, the project lead and a member of ORNL's Computer Science Research Group. Billings envisions other potential applications in data visualization, fusion, climate science and astrophysics. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

###

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.