DOE funds a fifth round of projects pairing manufacturing, high performance computing

Aug. 15, 2018

A molecular model of individual chains of hemicellulose (blue and red ‘sticks’) interacting with a cellulose microfibril (green surface). The model is part of a newly funded HPC4Manufacturing collaboration between the Alliance for Pulp & Paper Technology Innovation (APPTI), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory aimed at using high performance computing and molecular modeling to increase pulp yield. (Download Image)

DOE funds a fifth round of projects pairing manufacturing, high performance computing

Jeremy Thomas,, 925-422-5539

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), which manages the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program to use supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing, today announced the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded nearly $3.8 million for 13 industry projects under the program.

The awards mark the fifth round of selectees for the HPC4Mfg Program, led by LLNL and its partners Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The program, established in 2015, unites DOE’s supercomputing capabilities and expertise with American manufacturers to optimize production processes, enhance product quality and speed up design and testing cycles while decreasing energy consumption. Participating DOE laboratories include Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

“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.”

The 13 new projects include: LLNL and ANL partnering with VAST Power Systems to optimize gas turbine combustors; LLNL working with KeraCel on manufacturing solid-state lithium-ion batteries; ANL collaborating with the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium and ArcelorMittal USA to optimize reheat furnace efficiency in steel manufacturing; SNL partnering with Dow Chemical to reduce the thermal conductivity of insulating foam polyurethane products; ANL and Transient Plasma Systems Inc. partnering to develop more efficient dilute-burn internal combustion engines; LANL and GE Global Research collaborating to model large-scale casting of aerospace and gas turbine blades; ORNL and NREL partnering with the Alliance for Pulp & Paper Technology Innovation to use molecular modeling to increase pulp yield; and ANL joining forces with 3M to optimize the fiber spinning manufacturing process used in filters, fabrics and insulation. For a full list of funded projects, visit the web.

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 AMO funded LLNL to establish the HPC4Mfg Program in March 2015. The Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program within DOE’s Office of Science and NREL also support the program with HPC cycles through its Leadership Computing Challenge allocation program.

Since it began, the HPC4Mfg Program has funded a total of 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 is available on the web.