New manufacturing technologies are needed to enable companies to rapidly produce the energy-efficient, competitively priced, high-quality products that will rejuvenate U.S. manufacturing. Innovative manufacturing concepts will provide critical energy and environmental improvements to increase the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing industries.
Achieving energy-efficient processing will require the reduction and integration of process steps, development of alternative low-temperature pathways, and development of entirely new processes and unit operations. New processes will also provide opportunities for the development of novel materials with unique properties to enhance the performance of existing products or create entirely new markets.
To help address these challenges, the US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office has established the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to provide industry with affordable and convenient access to facilities, tools and expertise to facilitate rapid deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.
The MDF operates as a portal for manufacturing industries to access the extensive expertise and capabilities of ORNL. The MDF comprises laboratories located on the main campus of ORNL and well as two nearby offsite locations.
One of the MDF offsite facilities is co-located with the National Transportation Research Center in Knoxville, TN approximately seven miles from the main campus. This facility houses additive manufacturing, composites manufacturing and battery manufacturing laboratories.
The second offsite facility is designated the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility and is located in the Horizon Center Industrial Park in Oak Ridge, TN approximately five miles from the ORNL campus. The CFTF offers a highly flexible, highly instrumented carbon fiber line for demonstrating advanced technology scalability and producing market-development volumes of prototypical carbon fibers.
Additional world-leading materials development, characterization, process technology and computational facilities are located on the main ORNL campus support the MDF mission.