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Energy and Environment Directorate

Research Capabilities

Transportation Materials

PNNL works with industry to develop innovative materials and advanced manufacturing techniques for vehicles that will reduce the nation's use of imported oil and improve air quality. The FreedomCar and Vehicle Technologies Program is a government-industry program with a balanced set of R&D activities in light and heavy vehicle applications. It employs new technologies for advancements in lightweight alloys, fuel cells and alternative fuels, combustion and emission control, and hybrid technologies.

The 21st Century Truck Partnership brings together 16 industrial partners and four federal government departments. Through cooperative research, the partners are developing a balanced portfolio of projects aimed at achieving key goals, coordinating their research activities as appropriate, and making effective use of the nation's research universities and national laboratories.

The PNNL Materials Science capabilities in the transportation materials area include:

Formation of complex shapes in metal components

  • Superplastic forming
  • Hydroforming

Development of advanced materials

  • Metal matrix composites
  • Thermoplastic composites
  • Lightweight glazing

Novel joining techniques for dissimilar materials

  • Friction stir welding and processing
  • Tailor welded blanks
  • Self piercing rivets
  • Ceramic-metal joining via reactive metal brazing

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas