Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Manufacturing Demonstration Facility

Capabilities include:

  • Component and Power Testing
  • Composite Blade Testing
  • Composite Structure (non-blade) Testing
  • General Component Testing
  • Structural Testing
  • Cost Modeling
  • High Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Modeling
  • Technical Design
  • Composite Blade Design
  • Composite Structure (non-blade) Design and Testing
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With a vision to achieve energy-efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable manufacturing techniques and technologies, the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) serves as a critical driver of early-stage research and development. MDF capabilities can help reduce manufacturing costs and increase the durability of materials, thus reducing the Levelized Cost of Energy, a significant obstacle to bringing MRE technologies to market. MDF has collaborated with several renewable energy companies, creating 3D printed molds for blades, additively manufacturing turbine components, and proposing materials that are resistant to corrosion and biofouling.

The facility offers an extensive array of capabilities, including manufacturing analysis and simulation, composites and polymer systems, metal powder systems, metrology and characterization, machine tooling, large scale metal systems, and robotics and automation. Testing capabilities and relative technologies include additive manufacturing using polymer and metal deposition over a range of scales, tailoring of carbon fiber and other advanced materials for a variety of cost-versus-performance applications, and characterization and qualification of advanced materials and  manufacturing components.

Recent MDF achievements:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory Medusa MDF

    Printed and machined patterns used in sand-casting manufacturing process for hydrofoils and spokes for a vertical-axis hydrokinetic turbine.

  • A low-cost trim tool using additive manufacturing and composite materials made with carbon fiber and ABS thermoplastic.
  • World’s first large-scale 3D thermoset printer.
  • 3D printed 40 ft long wind blade mold demonstrating decrease in time and cost compared with traditional production.
  • In-situ data analytics to born certify parts every single time.
  • 3D printed tooling for precast concrete molds for large-scale renovation project in New York City, proving more durable alternative to wooden tooling.
  • Expanded Big Area Additive Manufacturing capabilities to print large-scale polymer materials up to 13 ft long.
  • 3D printed mold to directly infuse boat hulls.
  • Bio-derived composite materials to 3D print components of large outdoor pavilions.
  • Manufacturing method combining 3D printing with traditional casting to produce damage-tolerant components composed of multiple materials.

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Point of Contact:
Mirko Musa – musam@ornl.gov