Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: Nickel aluminide technology improve steel industry efficiency

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 18, 2007 — A technology that provides an improved method to heat treated steel has been developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Oak Ridge materials scientist Vinod Sikka says the nickel aluminde process reduces wasted energy.

"In the past, the steel had to travel in a furnace or moving rollers," Sikka says. "These rollers were getting so distorted that they would scratch the bottom of the plates. The scratches were so bad that 40 percent of the inventory would be rejected."

Sikka says steel producing facilities will operate more efficiently.

"The furnaces were being shut down every other Friday with large energy losses and productivity losses," Sikka says. "With our new technology, the furnaces have been operating continuously for four years with only shutdowns that are scheduled for other reasons."

Oak Ridge's nickel aluminide technology recently earned an R&D 100 Award as one of 2007's most technologically significant new products.

For Oak Ridge National Laboratory, this is Fred Strohl reporting.