HPC4Mfg: DOE Supercomputers to Be Used in 13 Manufacturing Projects

By Doug Black

August 22, 2018

Dow, GE and 3M are among 12 companies awarded $3.8 million for 13 industrial research projects – ranging from gas turbine combustor optimization, to manufacturing solid-state lithium-ion batteries, to improving insulating foam – under the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s High Performance Computing for Manufacturing  (HPC4Mfg) Program.

The program, managed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in conjunction with other national labs and established in 2015, joins DOE’s supercomputing resources and computer scientists with American manufacturers to optimize production processes, enhance product quality and speed up design and testing cycles while decreasing energy consumption.

The projects receiving HPC4Mfg Program awards:

  • Alliance for Pulp & Paper Technology Innovation (APPTI) (formerly Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance) will partner with NREL and ORNL to improve pulp yield during kraft pulping process in a project titled “Molecular Modeling to Increase Kraft Pulp Yield.”
  • Dow Chemical Company will partner with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) to reduce the thermal conductivity of insulating foam polyurethane products while using less polymer in a project titled “Predictive Modeling of Polyurethane Foam Processes to Optimize Thermal Performance and Reduce Waste.”
  • Seurat Technologies will partner with LLNL to optimize its laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing printer in a project titled “Fluid and Particle Dynamics in Metal Area Printing.”
  • SFP Works, LLC will partner with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to understand phase transformations that occur during the flash processing of steels in a project titled “High Performance Computing to Quantify the Evolution of Microscopic Concentration Gradients During Flash Processing.”
  • 3M will partner with SNL to enhance the design of emissive films on building windows for cooling in a project titled “Passive Cooling Film Optimization.”
  • VAST Power Systems, Inc. will partner with LLNL and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to increase the efficiency and reduce start-up times of gas turbine combustors in a project titled “Ultra-Clean Transient Turbine Combustor.”
  • KeraCel will partner with LLNL to optimize manufacturing of robust solid-state batteries in a project titled “A Commercially Viable Approach to Manufacturing All-Solid-State Lithium-Ion Battery.”
  • Arconic Inc. will partner with ORNL to model rolling processes to observe the evolution of porosity in a project titled “Computational Modeling of Industrial Rolling Processes Incorporating Microstructure Evolution to Minimize Rework Energy Losses.”
  • GE Global Research Center will partner with Los Alamos National Laboratory to improve the Truchas code for single crystal casting in a project titled “Highly Parallel Modeling Tool to Drive Casting Development for Aerospace and Industry Gas Turbines (IGT) Industries.”
  • 3M will partner with ANL to optimize its fiber spinning manufacturing process in a project titled “Next Generation Nonwovens Manufacturing based on Model-driven Simulation Machine Learning Approach.”
  • United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) will partner with ORNL to understand microstructure evolution during heat treatment of additively manufactured parts in a project titled “Predictive Tools for Customizing Heat Treatment of Additively Manufactured Aerospace Components.”
  • Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) and ArcelorMittal USA will partner with ANL to improve the efficiency of the reheat furnace process in steel manufacturing in a project titled “Application of High-Performance Computing to Optimize Reheat Furnace Efficiency in Steel Manufacturing.”
  • Transient Plasma Systems Inc. will partner with ANL to develop more efficient dilute-burn engines in a project titled “Modeling of Non-equilibrium Plasma for Automotive Applications.”

“We are pleased with the growing involvement by multiple national laboratories in this program,” said LLNL’s Robin Miles, interim director of the HPC4Mfg Program. “The world-class expertise in scientific and engineering computing available at our leading institutions can make a significant difference to enhancing the competitiveness and efficiencies of U.S. industry.”

With the exception of the LLNL/KeraCel collaboration, which will be funded by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), each project will receive up to $300,000 from the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Three other projects will be co-funded by the VTO, DOE’s Building Technologies Office and the Office of Fossil Energy. Each participating private entity or consortium was required to contribute at least $60,000 of in-kind funds.

The HPC4Mfg Program has funded 60 industry projects, ranging from improving the reliability and lifetime of wind turbines to studying how to mitigate defects in the 3D printing of metal parts to reducing emissions from semiconductor processing that could potentially harm the ozone layer.

The sixth solicitation for the HPC4Mfg Program, focusing on steelmaking and aluminum production, is expected to be announced later this month. More information on the HPC4Mfg solicitation is available here.

Feature image: Molecular model, Alliance for Pulp & Paper Technology Innovation, increasing pulp yield

This article originally appeared in sister publication EnterpriseTech.com.

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