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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Date:5/10/2011

MATERIALS - Stir in extrusion tech . . .

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have achieved a friction-stir technology milestone by extruding aluminum-based wire in lengths up to 15 feet. Friction-stir, which is also used in welding, is a method that uses the heat from a spinning tool to plasticize metal alloys or composites for reforming, joining or recycling. The ORNL researchers optimized the friction-stir process to extrude the unprecedented long lengths of wire through a die. Along with its energy efficiency benefits through eliminating the need to melt large quantities of metal, the method preserves properties of some solid-phase advanced materials such as oxides or electrical conductors that may otherwise be lost through melting. [Contact: Bill Cabage, (865) 574-4399; cabagewh@ornl.gov]

MATERIALS -- Nanodots to the rescue . . .

By applying the magnetic properties of iron nanodots to complex materials, a research team has overcome an obstacle to getting ultra-thin or highly strained films to perform on par with their bulk counterparts. If the researchers are indeed successful, this work sets the stage for these exotic materials to be used in a wide range of fascinating and potentially technologically revolutionary applications, said Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Zac Ward, lead author of a paper published in Physical Review Letters. The problem lies in the fact that at low dimensions or when the material is under strain it loses the characteristics that make it valuable for use in nano-scale electronics. "What we discovered is a way to activate these materials using the magnetic properties of iron nanodots to control the electron spin and tune the behavior," Ward said. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

COMPUTING -- Parareal boost for fusion . . .

An application and algorithm tweak
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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