Dec 21, 2020

New engine capability accelerates advanced vehicle research

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

In the quest for advanced vehicles with higher energy efficiency and ultra-low emissions, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are accelerating a research engine that gives scientists and engineers an unprecedented view inside the atomic-level workings of combustion engines in real time.

The new capability is an engine built specifically to run inside a neutron beam line. This neutronic engine provides a unique sample environment that allows investigation of structural changes in new alloys designed for the environment of a high-temperature, advanced combustion engine operating in realistic conditions.

ORNL first unveiled the capability in 2017, when researchers successfully evaluated a small, prototype engine with a cylinder head cast from a new high-temperature aluminum-cerium alloy created at the lab. The experiment was the world’s first in which a running engine was analyzed by , using the VULCAN neutron diffractometer at the Department of Energy’s Spallation Neutron Source, or SNS, at ORNL.

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