Technology Opportunities

We deliver innovation through an integrated portfolio of R&D work across our key national security sponsoring agencies, enhanced by the ideas developed through our strategic internal investments.

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  • Business Development Team
  • Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation
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Periodically, the Laboratory notifies the public of technologies and capabilities that may be of interest. These technologies may extend from recent inventions, technology opportunity or capabilities that may have utility outside the Laboratory.

If you are interested in any of the following capabilities, contact the Business Development Team.



Numerical Simulations Connecting Materials Processing With Microstructure, Properties and Performance

Emerging characterization methods in experimental mechanics pose a challenge to modelers to devise efficient formulations to enable interpretation and exploitation of the massive amount of data generated by these novel methods. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), have developed a diversified portfolio of numerical simulations tools aimed at establishing clear connections between material processing conditions and the resulting microstructure, properties and performance. The available numerical methods for virtual manufacturing and characterization include:

  1. Polycrystal microstructure evolution and property models: Over the past decades LANL has developed two distinct modeling tools to simulate the evolution of both microstructure and materials properties of polycrystalline media subjected to thermo-mechanical constraints. These modeling tools, a Fast Fourier Transform (EVP-FFT) and Mean Field (E-VPSC) Models are both applicable to the case of extreme loading conditions. They yield prediction of the evolution in the materials microstructure (e.g. phase transformation, twinning), texture, elastic strains and defect content during forming operations, creep loading, fatigue and shock loading [1-4].
  2. Microstructure evolution during ion implantation and neutron irradiation: A spatially resolved stochastic cluster dynamics (SRSCD) code has been developed at LANL to predict microstructure evolution in material systems subjected to either ion implantation or neutron damage. The toolkit has full-field resolution and therefore can account for the details of the microstructure (grain size, morphology, texture) [5,6].
  3. Component performance and processing: Vulture is a code that interfaces the effective medium crystal plasticity code, VPSC, with finite element frameworks. This allows performing component-level finite element simulations using physically based material models. Each element in the finite element mesh solves for the texture-dependent crystallographic material response using VPSC and local boundary conditions. This tool can be used to assess both material performance and mechanically driven manufacturing of components [7,8]. The hierarchal modeling framework has been used with success to provide guidance to complex material processing techniques such as accumulative roll bonding.
  4. Solidification and casting: LANL has developed a highly parallel, coupled, continuum scale, multi-physics simulation tool called Truchas to aid component manufacturing. Current commercial products are also available for process development, but none incorporate the breadth of models in the current release of Truchas. It is a unique tool because it incorporates all of the continuum physical models necessary to simulate metal casting processes. These models include (i) Periodic behavior of electromagnetic waves and the resultant heat deposited in the components of the manufacturing system. (ii)Transfer of heat within system components and between the components and their environment by conduction, convection, and radiation (with view factors), (iii) Solidification, melting, and allotropic (crystalline) phase changes. These also incorporate the influence of alloy concentrations that can vary within the domain of the alloy (iv) Flow of molten alloy. The flow algorithms deal with dynamic interfaces and permit evaluation of the redistribution of energy and alloy material due to fluid motion, (v) The distortion and dislocation of system components (including mold and the metal product) due to stresses imposed both by temperature changes and by volumetric changes associated with phase change. This model will also accommodate both elastic and plastic response to such stress.

 Los Alamos is seeking partners or licensees to help develop, commercialize and/or apply this technology.

References

1. RA Lebensohn, CN Tomé, A self-consistent anisotropic approach for the simulation of plastic deformation and texture development of polycrystals: application to zirconium alloys, Acta Mat 1993

 2. SR Agnew, DW Brown, CN Tomé, Validating a polycrystal model for the elastoplastic response of magnesium alloy AZ31 using in situ neutron diffraction, Acta Mat 2006

 3. RA Lebensohn, N-site modeling of a 3D viscoplastic polycrystal using fast Fourier transform, Acta Mat 2001

 4. RA Lebensohn, AK Kanjarla, P Eisenlohr, An elasto-viscoplastic formulation based on fast Fourier transforms for the prediction of micromechanical fields in polycrystalline materials, International Journal of Plasticity, 2012

5. A Dunn, R Dingreville, E Martínez, L Capolungo, Synchronous parallel spatially resolved stochastic cluster dynamics, Comp Mat Sci, 2016

 6. A Dunn, B Muntifering, R Dingreville, K Hattar, L Capolungo, Displacement rate and temperature equivalence in stochastic cluster dynamics simulations of irradiated pure α-Fe, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2016

 7. J Segurado, RA Lebensohn, J LLorca, CN Tomé , Multiscale modeling of plasticity based on embedding the viscoplastic self-consistent formulation in implicit finite elements, International Journal of Plasticity 2012

8. A Prakash, WG Nöhring, RA Lebensohn, HW Höppel, E Bitzek, A multiscale simulation framework of the accumulative roll bonding process accounting for texture evolution, Materials Science and Engineering: A, 2015

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Copyrights

  • Viscoplastic Fast Fourier Transform-based (VPFFT)      Code,  (LANS Ref C-11038)
  • VPSC-ABAQUS UMAT 1.0 (LANS Ref C-13077)

Contact: Ross Muenchausen 

Date Posted: March 6, 2017


Acoustic Methods to Support Biofuels Production 

Los Alamos is interested in partnering with companies to develop its ultrasonic capabilities for biofuels production applications. Los Alamos has developed ultrasonic methods for processes such as algae separation and concentration. A principal challenge in algal biofuel production is separating the hydrocarbon-bearing algae from the growth media in a cost-effective, energy efficient fashion. Current methods such as centrifugal methods are expensive and inefficient. Los Alamos has developed methods based on generation of ultrasonic standing waves that enable lower-energy separations. These acoustic methods can be used both to separate biological particles (algae) from a liquid suspensions and to isolate lipids from the algae.

Building on this technology, Los Alamos is seeking partners to mature these ultrasonic methods for algal biofuels applications. A short term opportunity in this area focuses on the recent Department of Energy (DOE) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) proposal call (see http://www.cleantechalliance.org/news/320238/DOE-Seeks-Technology-Commercialization-Fund-Proposals.htm), which has a proposal deadline of February 12, 2017. Los Alamos seeks expressions of interest in partnering with Los Alamos either in response to the TCF call or through other partnership vehicles.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Patent Applications

  • Method and Apparatus for Acoustically Manipulating Biological Particles (U.S. 2013-0116459 Published 5/9/2013 DOE S-121345)
  • Acoustic Manipulation of Fluids Based on Eigenfrequency (Provisional Patent Appl. No. 62/276,755 DOE S-133320)

Contact: Donald Hickmott

Date Posted: January 12, 2017


Autonomous Biosurveillance Systems

LANL is looking for opportunities to leverage our expertise in assay design, bioinformatic analysis, and genomics to develop future next-gen sequencing (NGS) technologies for applications in biosecurity and public health. These technologies should be cheaper, easier to use, and more flexible than current technologies. LANL may be interested in collaborative work on the application of NGS to autonomous biosurveillance systems, and is seeking partners or licensees to help develop, commercialize and/or deploy this technology.

Contact: Miranda Intrator

Date Posted: January 12, 2017


Flow Management Devices

Los Alamos scientists have developed novel microfluidic technologies and Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking partners or licensees to help develop, commercialize and/or deploy this technology.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Patent Applications

  • Reversibly bonded microfluidic devices and method of making the device (LANS Ref. No. S 133,381.000; U.S. App. No. 62/401,663)
  • Magnetically Controlled Valves and Pumps (LANS Ref. No. S 133,380.000; U.S. App. No. 62/322,622)
  • Microfluidic aspirator and methods of making and using the same (LANS Ref. No. S 133,379.000; U.S. App. No. 62/322,577)
  • Devices for co-culture and methods of making and using the same (LANS Ref. No. S 133,382.000; U.S. App. No. 62/384,451)

Contact: Miranda Intrator

Date Posted: December 22, 2016


Unattended Dual Current Monitor

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has developed a technology, the “Unattended Dual Current Monitor (UDCM)” that is an ideal solution for current measurement needs such as ion chamber gamma measurements. The UDCM has two independent inputs and each input detects currents in two user selectable ranges, -0.1nA to -20nA or -10nA to -2uA. Measurement results can be retrieved via an Ethernet connection or by monitoring the TTL output lines with a simple counter. Measurement data is also stored on a user accessible micro-SD card or a USB flash drive. A programmable negative High Voltage (HV) power supply provides detector bias voltages from 0 to -1,000V. The instrument is fully compatible with the IAEA Multi Instrument Collect (MIC) software and responds to the existing MiniGrand commands. The Ethernet port provides an IAEA RAINSTORM compliant data transfer and data security interface. This technology is available for nonexclusive licensing.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Patent Applications

  • Unattended Dual Current Monitor (UDCM) - 62/384,360

Contact: Kathleen McDonald

Date Posted: October 20, 2016


LIBS for Sustainable Agriculture

Los Alamos is interested in partnering with companies to develop its laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) capabilities for agricultural applications. Los Alamos has developed applications of LIBS for a range of uses including mining, manufacturing, nuclear forensics, and, most notably, space applications. LIBS utilizes a laser spark to excite emission lines that are characteristic of the elemental composition of a material under interrogation; these materials can be solid, liquid or even gaseous. Elemental compositions can be determined with detection limits as low as parts-per-million levels. LIBS instruments can be small and portable and little sample preparation is required, so they are ideal for field applications. LIBS can also be implemented from distances up to several meters. A particular strength of LIBS, compared to other field analytical methods such as X-ray fluorescence, is its sensitivity to light elements such as nitrogen and carbon.

Los Alamos researchers have developed innovative methods to solve key LIBS technical challenges such as: 1) ensuring the safety of operators utilizing the lasers needed to excite emission through software/hardware controls and interlocks; and 2) accurately quantifying element compositions in complex matrices. Los Alamos has achieved success in deploying LIBS both to its government customers and industrial partners and has identified the agricultural sector as a potential market to further develop LIBS as a commercial tool. Building on this technology, Los Alamos is seeking partners to mature LIBS for sustainable agricultural applications. Such applications could include real-time soil analysis for nutrient compositions (e.g. C, N, P, K) in order to optimize fertilizer applications. Coupling such analyses with other agricultural technology may represent a key opportunity. Los Alamos seeks business plans that outlines potential partners’ strategies for such development.

Contact: Don Hickmott

Date posted: January 16, 2016

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