Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.
ORNL’s diverse capabilities span a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, enabling the Laboratory to explore fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace/
For a general overview of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, including its core capabilities, visit ORNL's Solution Center profile or their home page. Learn more about individual user facilities below.
Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)

The Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC), in the Energy and Transportation Science Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is a premier US research facility devoted to the development and performance characterization of technologies that maximize the cost-effective energy efficiency and durability of residential and commercial buildings. It offers a wealth of experimental apparatus, computational tools, and expertise on building envelopes; equipment and their cycles and working fluids for heating, cooling, humidity control, water heating, appliance, and supermarket refrigeration; and system and whole-building performance measurement and analysis. Focusing on research and development of new building technologies, whole building and community integration, improved energy management in homes and buildings during their operational phase, and market transformations from concept to commercialization in all of these areas.

The Maximum Building Energy Efficiency Research laboratory, or MAXLAB, is the most recent addition to the BTRIC and is enabled for research to advance the energy efficiency and durability of building envelopes (e.g., walls), equipment, and appliances. Completed in September 2013, the MAXLAB contains two research spaces: a high-bay area for building and characterizing large-scale wall assemblies and a low-bay area housing a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning laboratory. The high-bay area houses an apparatus for simultaneously testing air and moisture penetration of large-scale wall assemblies under any weather conditions encountered in the United States.

The low bay area houses BTRIC’s Heat, Air, and Moisture Penetration chamber—the only apparatus of its kind—simulates indoor and outdoor temperatures. Additionally, the chambers can subject walls to 10 to 90 percent relative humidity and other outdoor conditions such as rain, solar radiation, and pressures from wind and wind gusts that range from -30 to 30 pounds per square foot.

The BTRIC user facility and accompanying staff expertise are available to manufacturers, universities, and other organizations for proprietary and nonproprietary research and development. Access to these unique facilities and capabilities is obtained through user agreements, Work for Others (WFO) arrangements, and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs).​

For more information, please visit the BTRIC website or contact: 

Ronald Ott
Director, Building Technologies Program
(865) 574-5172

Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF) offers a 42,000 sq. ft. innovative technology facility with a highly flexible, highly instrumented carbon fiber line for demonstrating advanced technology scalability and producing market-development volumes of prototypical carbon fibers, and serves as the last step before commercial production scale.

The CFTF is available to industrial collaborators throughout the value chain, with emphasis on the creation and execution of vertically integrated partnerships, but academia, national laboratories, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations may also use the facility. Access is granted through various partnering mechanisms, and both proprietary and nonproprietary work can be conducted. All partnerships are conducted in compliance with statutory restrictions, specifically export control.

The CFTF serves as a national testbed for government and commercial partners to scale-up emerging carbon fiber technology. As part of ORNL’s DOE-funded Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, the CFTF serves as a hub for public–private partnerships in the emerging national network for innovations in manufacturing.

The CFTF, with its 390-ft. long processing line, is capable of custom unit operation configuration and has a capacity of up to 25 tons per year, allowing industry to validate conversion of their carbon fiber precursors at semi-production scale.

For more information, please visit the CFTF website or contact: 

Merlin Theodore
Director, Carbon Fiber Technology Organization
(865) 576-6569

Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF)

The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory helps industry adopt new manufacturing technologies to strengthen the domestic manufacturing enterprise by driving innovation and accelerating adoption of clean energy manufacturing technologies leading to increased domestic production capacity, jobs for American workers, and regional economic development.

ORNL is collaborating with equipment manufacturers and end users to advance state-of-the-art technologies and revolutionize the way products are designed and built using additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Drawing on its close ties with industry and world-leading capabilities in materials development, characterization, and processing, ORNL is creating an unmatched environment for breakthroughs in additive manufacturing.

ORNL is presently leading a major DOE initiative to develop disruptive technologies for producing low cost carbon fiber. Major focal areas are (i) alternative precursors, (ii) advanced, energy efficient processes, and (iii) scaling for technology transition. ORNL processing capabilities range from single filament to tens of tons annually, with characterization capabilities at length scales from sub-Angstrom to approximately one meter.

The primary focus of ORNL’s carbon fiber research is disruptive cost reduction for industrial grade carbon fibers, with modest performance penalty being acceptable. This program includes efforts aimed at significant cost reduction for the highest performing standard modulus carbon fibers, with little or no performance penalty. Finally ORNL’s carbon fiber program does include a high performance element in which new performance levels are sought with cost being a secondary factor.

The MDF is DOE’s first such facility established to provide affordable and convenient access to R&D expertise, facilities, and tools to facilitate rapid adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies to enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. workforce. Under the MDF Technology Collaborations Program, industry can leverage world-leading capabilities and expertise in short-term collaborative projects on the path to commercial implementation of advanced manufacturing and materials technologies.

For more information, please visit the MDF website or contact: 

William H Peter
Director, Manufacturing Demonstration Facility

Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)

The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) was established at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2004 with the mission of standing up a supercomputer 100 times more powerful than the leading systems of the day. The facility delivered on that promise four years later in 2008, when its Cray XT ""Jaguar"" system ran the first scientific applications to exceed 1,000 trillion calculations a second (1 petaflop). The OLCF continued to expand the limits of computing power, and in June 2010 Jaguar became the world's most powerful supercomputer, with 224,000-plus processing cores delivering a peak performance of more than 2.3 petaflops. Proceeding Jaguar, the OLCF delivered ""Titan"" in 2012.

The facility welcomes investigators from universities, government agencies, and industry who are prepared to perform breakthrough research in climate, materials, alternative energy sources and energy storage, chemistry, nuclear physics, astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and the gamut of scientific inquiry.

Companies can access Titan through the Accelerating Competitiveness through Computational Excellence (ACCEL) program. ACCEL is helping start-up companies to Fortune 500 giants supercharge their competitiveness through access to world class computational resources and expertise not available elsewhere. These firms are gaining hands-on experience applying advanced computational tools to their problems and realizing bottom line business benefits. There are three pathways to apply for time on ORNL’s Titan:

  1. Director’s Discretionary Allocation: for high impact science and engineering problems that exceed a company’s internal computing capabilities; scaling, and application performance to maximize productivity on OLCF resources.
  2. ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC): Larger high-risk, high-payoff simulations that are directly related to the DOE mission (such as advancing energy efficiency), and for broadening the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources.
  3. INCITE: Computationally intensive, large-scale research projects pursuing transformational advances in science and engineering through the use of a substantial allocation of computer time and data storage or that require the unique leadership-class architectural infrastructure.

Additionally, users may work with the OLCF through a standard CRADA or “Work for Others” contract.

For more information, please visit the ACCEL website or contact:

Suzy Tichenor
Director, Industrial Partnerships Program
(703) 413-7846