The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has received $392,000 in funding to commercialize a gas atomization nozzle design used to produce metal powders for manufacturing. In addition, the Laboratory will contribute in-kind matching funds of equal value for the project from private sector partner Ampal, Inc., a part of the United States Metal Powders group of companies.
The funding is part of the DOE’s Office of Technology Transition’s Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) announced recently by U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. The funding, totaling $19.7 million, will support 54 projects across 12 National Laboratories involving more than 30 private sector partners, and will help businesses move promising energy technologies from National Laboratories to the marketplace.
Gas atomization is a powder production method that uses high-pressure gas flow to disintegrate molten metal, poured through a custom-designed nozzle, into particles. Ames Laboratory’s gas atomization method efficiently produces metal powders that are customizable, consistently sized and spherical, resulting in smooth flow, optimal packing and improved quality of produced parts.
“We’ll be working with our industrial partner to adapt our experimental gas atomization nozzle design to increase efficiency and control in their manufacturing process,” said Ames Laboratory metallurgist Emma White. “We hope that if we can demonstrate the advantages of our technology with this manufacturer, it will develop interest across the industry.”
Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions.