Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2019

December 02, 2019

Manufacturing - Lightning strike out

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated that an additively manufactured polymer layer, when applied to carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, can serve as an effective protector against aircraft lightning strikes. CFRP is usually used on an airplane's exterior because it's lighter than traditional metal. Although lightweight, CFRP has a drawback - low electrical conductivity and heat resistance, making it vulnerable to lightning strikes. "We printed a novel, easy to apply adhesive material for CFRP," ORNL's Vipin Kumar said. "The polymer's chain-like structure makes the resulting material electrically conductive and structurally strong with thermal treatment." In a study, the research team conducted simulated lightning strike tests on polymer protected CFRP versus unprotected. "The polymer-protected sample showed minimal damage upon visual inspection and enabled much more uniform heat dissipation," Kumar said. "Our results proved that the polymer layer provided a continuous path to effectively distribute the lightning current." [Contact: Jennifer Burke, (865) 576-3212; burkejj@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/2019-11/Lightning%20strike%20test%201.jpg

Credit: Researchers conducted simulated lightning strike tests on additively manufactured polymeric material applied to carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP. The test revealed minimal damage to the polymer protected CFRP compared to the unprotected material. Credit: Vipin Kumar/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Fusion - Argon calling

As scientists study approaches to best sustain a fusion reactor, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigated injecting shattered argon pellets into a super-hot plasma, when needed, to protect the reactor's interior wall from high-energy runaway electrons. Other pellet materials, frozen from room-temperature gasses, have successfully reduced the plasma's thermal energy, but argon was most effective at runaway electron dissipation. Using fuel pellet injection technology - which literally shoots cryogenic pellets of fuel into the plasma to raise its density - the team used an injector optimized for argon during a series of tests at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. "Now that we have demonstrated argon's effectiveness, our next step is to determine how many pellets and pellet injectors are needed for a solution that's applicable," said ORNL's Larry Baylor. This research may be scaled up for possible application on ITER, the international experimental reactor. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/2019-11/13966_ar_20degree_enhanced.jpg

Video: https://youtu.be/0sQIdmn6EQo

Caption: Scientists tested ORNL-developed pellet injection technology with shattered argon pellets shot out of a bent shatter tube in a lab at ORNL. The technology was later tested on an experimental fusion plasma to mitigate runaway electrons, preventing interior wall damage. Credit: Trey Gebhart/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Biology - Honoring a genetics pioneer

The life and legacy of Dr. Liane Russell - world-renowned for her groundbreaking genetics research in mice - will be celebrated during a symposium on December 20 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The event will feature past and current recipients of the Liane B. Russell Distinguished Early Career Fellowship, as well as select guests who were influenced by Russell's work and life. She was lauded for her contributions to mammalian genetics, including the chromosomal basis of sex determination in mammals and the effect of radiation on embryos. Findings by Russell and her husband, the late William L. Russell, about the vulnerability of embryos to radiation led to changes in radiological practices for female patients of child-bearing age. Known as "Lee," Russell was also an active conservationist, as a founder of the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Protection. Visitors to the symposium must contact ORNL in advance to make arrangements. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Image: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/2019-07/LianeRussell40s200_1.jpg

Caption: The life and legacy of pioneering geneticist Dr. Liane Russell will be celebrated during a symposium on December 20 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy
-end-


DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Plasma Articles from Brightsurf:

Plasma treatments quickly kill coronavirus on surfaces
Researchers from UCLA believe using plasma could promise a significant breakthrough in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Fighting pandemics with plasma
Scientists have long known that ionized gases can kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and some fungi.

Topological waves may help in understanding plasma systems
A research team has predicted the presence of 'topologically protected' electromagnetic waves that propagate on the surface of plasmas, which may help in designing new plasma systems like fusion reactors.

Plasma electrons can be used to produce metallic films
Computers, mobile phones and all other electronic devices contain thousands of transistors, linked together by thin films of metal.

Plasma-driven biocatalysis
Compared with traditional chemical methods, enzyme catalysis has numerous advantages.

How bacteria protect themselves from plasma treatment
Considering the ever-growing percentage of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, interest in medical use of plasma is increasing.

A breakthrough in the study of laser/plasma interactions
Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CEA Saclay have developed a particle-in-cell simulation tool that is enabling cutting-edge simulations of laser/plasma coupling mechanisms.

Researchers turn liquid metal into a plasma
For the first time, researchers at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) have found a way to turn a liquid metal into a plasma and to observe the temperature where a liquid under high-density conditions crosses over to a plasma state.

How black holes power plasma jets
Cosmic robbery powers the jets streaming from a black hole, new simulations reveal.

Give it the plasma treatment: strong adhesion without adhesives
A Japanese research team at Osaka University used plasma treatment to make fluoropolymers and silicone resin adhere without any adhesives.

Read More: Plasma News and Plasma Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.