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    • 2019-09-12 10:05:34
    • Article ID: 718877

    Building products manufacturer licenses ORNL technology for increased thermal insulation

    • Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

      Sean Hummel, director of research and development with Quanex Building Products, seated left; and Thomas Zacharia, ORNL laboratory director, signed a licensing agreement for an ORNL method to produce thermal insulating material. Standing, from left, are Tess Oliver of Quanex Building Products, alongside ORNL’s Matt Garrett, Jaswinder Sharma, Xin Sun, Ilias Belharouak, Mike Paulus and Moe Khaleel.

    • Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

      A low-cost material, developed by ORNL and licensed by Quanex Building Products, can be used as an additive to increase thermal insulation performance and improve energy efficiency when applied to a variety of building products.

    • Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

      ORNL’s Jaswinder Sharma and a team of researchers synthesized a highly insulating material that exhibits unique properties for optimal thermal insulation performance, which could reduce energy use when applied.

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sept. 12, 2019—Quanex IG Systems, a business unit of Quanex Building Products, has signed a non-exclusive agreement to license a method to produce insulating material from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The low-cost material can be used as an additive to increase thermal insulation performance and improve energy efficiency when applied to a variety of building products. 

    Houston-based Quanex designs and makes energy-efficient components associated with windows and doors for original equipment manufacturers. The company plans to incorporate and scale up ORNL’s technology into their existing processes to produce low-cost thermal insulation for the building products industry. 

    “The technology has been verified on the lab scale and shows promise as an additive in composite materials for thermal insulation at the commercial scale,” said Sean Hummel, director of research and development at Quanex. “ORNL has demonstrated that their process is energy efficient and creates less waste, which yields the lower cost additive.” 

    ORNL inventor Jaswinder Sharma and a team of researchers developed the method for synthesizing the highly insulating material that exhibits unique physical and structural properties for optimal thermal insulation performance, which could reduce energy use when applied. 

    “Our approach minimizes the use of chemical solvents, which decreases waste streams typically associated with the production of these kinds of materials,” Sharma said.    

    “At ORNL, we place a high value on early-stage research that translates into real-world results, and we’re pleased to see adoption of this technology by the private sector,” said Moe Khaleel, associate laboratory director for Energy and Environmental Sciences at ORNL. “This multi-disciplinary project relied on two of DOE’s scientific user facilities at ORNL: the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.” 

    Quanex and ORNL plan to continue developing the thermal insulation material. “We are excited to work with ORNL and this new technology to improve the thermal properties of building components,” Hummel said. 

    The research was originally supported by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Building Technologies Office and by DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund program at ORNL. 

    Quanex Building Products Corporation is an industry-leading manufacturer of components sold to original equipment manufacturers in the building products industry. Quanex designs and produces energy-efficient fenestration products in addition to kitchen and bath cabinet components. 

    UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://energy.gov/science. For ORNL licensing information, contact www.ornl.gov/partnerships.

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    Charm Quarks Offer Clues to Confinement

    Charm Quarks Offer Clues to Confinement

    Nuclear physicists are trying to understand how particles called quarks and gluons combine to form hadrons, composite particles made of two or three quarks. New research suggests quarks in the hot soup created in particle collisions at RHIC recombine directly.

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    Story Tips: Predicting fire risk, solid state stability check and images in a flash

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    Barbara Harrison brings experience and human resource skills to new position of equity, diversity and inclusion business partner

    Barbara Harrison brings experience and human resource skills to new position of equity, diversity and inclusion business partner

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    Chicago Quantum Exchange welcomes seven new partners in tech, computing and finance, to advance research and training

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    The Chicago-based research hub expands to include 13 total industry leaders in tech, computing, finance.

    EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Six New Research Awards

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    Department of Energy awards $3.15 million to Argonne to support collaborations with industry

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    Analyzing Matter's Building Blocks

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    Nobuo Sato is working to put the know in femto. He's just been awarded a five-year, multimillion dollar research grant by the Department of Energy to develop a "FemtoAnalyzer" that will help nuclear physicists image the three-dimensional internal structure of protons and neutrons. Now, Sato is among 76 scientists nationwide who have been awarded a grant through the DOE Office of Science's Early Career Research Program to pursue their research.

    Particle Physicist Takes the Lead on Groundbreaking Electron Measurement

    Particle Physicist Takes the Lead on Groundbreaking Electron Measurement

    James "Jim" Fast has joined Jefferson Lab as the MOLLER Project Manager. MOLLER is the "Measurement of a Lepton-Lepton Electroweak Reaction" experiment that will measure the weak charge of the electron.

    Six Argonne researchers receive DOE Early Career Research Program awards

    Six Argonne researchers receive DOE Early Career Research Program awards

    Argonne scientists Michael Bishof, Maria Chan, Marco Govini, Alessandro Lovato, Bogdan Nicolae and Stefan Wild have received funding for their research as part of DOE's Early Career Research Program.


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    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

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    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

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    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

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    How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.


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