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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Materials Science

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Guangping Xu employs a digital optical microscope

Seashell-inspired Sandia shield protects materials in hostile environments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Word of an extraordinarily inexpensive material, lightweight enough to protect satellites against debris in the cold of outer space, cohesive enough to strengthen the walls of pressurized vessels experiencing average conditions on Earth and yet heat-resistant enough at 1,500 degrees Celsius or 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit to shield instruments against flying debris, raises […]

Two men, one holding a shiny battery testing case, stand beside a beach-ball-sized, thick-metal testing instrument.

Safer, more powerful batteries for electric cars, power grid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Solid-state batteries, currently used in small electronic devices like smart watches, have the potential to be safer and more powerful than lithium-ion batteries for things such as electric cars and storing energy from solar panels for later use. However, several technical challenges remain before solid-state batteries can become widespread. A Sandia National […]

Man looks at a yellow robot arm with a blue laser scaning a 3D-printed part.

Sandia scientist to lead materials science organization

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Brad Boyce, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, was elected president of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. Boyce will become vice president of the society on March 3 at its annual meeting, and then serve three consecutive one-year terms as vice president, president and past president. He is the second […]

Powerful Sandia machine-learning model shows diamond melting at high pressure

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer simulation model called SNAP that rapidly predicts the behavior of billions of interacting atoms has captured the melting of diamond when compressed by extreme pressures and temperatures. At several million atmospheres, the rigid carbon lattice of the hardest known substance on Earth is shown in SNAP (Spectral […]

Program in fusion energy attracted interns’ eyes

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— A bold plan paid off this past summer when Sandia National Laboratories staff members LaRico Treadwell and Khalid Hattar combined their passions for increasing inclusion of people of color with developing materials to eventually derive energy from nuclear fusion. Standing to benefit from the pilot project were three undergraduate interns from North Carolina […]

Remote high-voltage sensor unveiled at Sandia gamma ray lab

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ever since the first human placed a bare hand on an uninsulated electric line, people have refrained from personally testing energetic materials. Even meters made of metal can melt at high voltages. Now, using a crystal smaller than a dime and a laser smaller than a shoebox, a Sandia National Laboratories team […]

Sandia researcher awarded Early-Career Research Program grant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Working to solve a problem, supercomputing researchers may encounter incomplete data or flawed programs. For both issues, Sandia researcher Drew Kouri has attracted interest from the broad computing community for his ability to mitigate uncertainty in both supercomputer programs and data, optimizing each to reach the best solutions. His research was awarded […]

High-speed alloy creation might revolutionize hydrogen’s future

LIVERMORE, Calif. — A Sandia National Laboratories team of materials scientists and computer scientists, with some international collaborators, have spent more than a year creating 12 new alloys — and modeling hundreds more — that demonstrate how machine learning can help accelerate the future of hydrogen energy by making it easier to create hydrogen infrastructure […]

Look who’s turning 25

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is celebrating 25 years of research conducted at its Z Pulsed Power Facility — a gymnasium-sized accelerator commonly referred to as Z or the Z machine. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a limited number of former leaders of the pulsed power program at Sandia will gather Friday to share […]

Battery Team

The hidden culprit killing lithium-metal batteries from the inside

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For decades, scientists have tried to make reliable lithium-metal batteries. These high-performance storage cells hold 50% more energy than their prolific, lithium-ion cousins, but higher failure rates and safety problems like fires and explosions have crippled commercialization efforts. Researchers have hypothesized why the devices fail, but direct evidence has been sparse. Now, […]

Setting gold and platinum standards where few have gone before

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Like two superheroes finally joining forces, Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine — generator of the world’s most powerful electrical pulses — and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility — the planet’s most energetic laser source — in a series of 10 experiments have detailed the responses of gold and platinum at […]

Graphic of underground stream with uranium being absorbed by apatite with detection wells upstream and downstream.

Using a mineral ‘sponge’ to catch uranium

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A team of researchers from Sandia, Lawrence Berkeley and Pacific Northwest national laboratories tested a “sponge-like” mineral that can “soak up” uranium at a former uranium mill near Rifle, Colorado. The researchers found that the mineral, calcium apatite, soaks up and binds uranium from the groundwater, reducing it by more than ten-thousandfold. […]

EIML Bo Song

Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab at Sandia bars none

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s a tiny hidden gem at Sandia National Laboratories that tests the strength and evaluates the impact properties of any solid natural or manmade material on the planet. From its humble beginnings as a small storage room, mechanical engineer Bo Song has built a singular Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab that packs a […]

Black and white image of an explosive shockwave and a video play button.

Thin explosive films provide snapshot of how detonations start

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Using thin films — no more than a few pieces of notebook paper thick — of a common explosive chemical, researchers from Sandia National Laboratories studied how small-scale explosions start and grow. Sandia is the only lab in the U.S. that can make such detonatable thin films. These experiments advanced fundamental knowledge […]

Black engineer awards expand Sandia Labs spotlight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ten Sandia National Laboratories engineers received Black Engineer of the Year Awards, including Most Promising Scientist, Modern Technology Leaders and Science Spectrum Trailblazers. Honorees include Sandia systems, chemical, computer, electrical, petroleum, manufacturing and mechanical engineers who excel in their respective fields, powering innovation while flexing their technological muscles for U.S. national security. […]

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