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January 29, 2002

Sandia and Goodyear sign new umbrella CRADA

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Most consumers couldn’t imagine how the management of nuclear stockpiles could bring them better tires faster, but a unique partnership between Goodyear and the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories is doing just that.

A common bond in computational mechanics has created a teaming effort between Goodyear and Sandia to replace the tire company’s traditional build-and-test design method with reliable computational mechanics simulation tools. This collaboration, accomplished under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) has provided Goodyear with modeling tools that are shortening production time and reducing costs.

“Our development of significant computational analysis tools in tire mechanics, materials and manufacturing, and advanced process technologies is significantly shortening product development time,” says Joe Gingo, Goodyear’s senior vice president for technology and global products planning. “It is allowing us to bring new products to market faster and employ new manufacturing techniques at several plants worldwide.”

“The nonlinear mechanics code that we developed for Goodyear allows their designers to run simulations in place of the costly build-and-test method of tire design,” says Al Romig, Sandia vice president for science-technology partnerships.

A complex simulation of tire performance produces a “footprint” of information similar to results from an actual prototype test.

“The tire designers have models that are as reliable as the prototype tests,” Romig adds.

Thomas Bickel, Sandia director of engineering sciences, says the partnership with Goodyear benefits both Sandia and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

“It allows us to use our computational models over a broad set of engineering conditions, helping us gain confidence in their robustness and accuracy and improving our code verification and model validation metrics over a broad range of physics, including use in nuclear weapons. We are using Goodyear as one of our ‘test tracks.’ This saves the taxpayers money in validation and allows us to evaluate different ways of achieving the next generation of computational engineering design in the industrial arena and within Sandia,” Bickel says.

Sandia’s DOE defense programs is using the tools to do simulations in the production of neutron generators and in other nuclear weapons applications, reducing portions of a neutron generator encapsulation schedule by a factor of two. Neutron generators are critical components of nuclear weapons.

“Our partnership is producing such good results that we have just signed a new, five-year ‘umbrella’ CRADA to streamline our joint research and development work,” Gingo said.

The new CRADA, the seventh the two have signed since 1992, will facilitate changes and additions to work in progress and enable Goodyear and Sandia to easily establish new projects.

Two initial tasks are defined in the new CRADA — information management and an extension of work in the current chemical research CRADA, announced in October.

Negotiated between Sandia and Goodyear’s chemical business, the “chemical CRADA” is exploring new and more energy efficient processes that could dramatically reduce U.S. petrochemical industry dependence on foreign oil. They are sharing expertise to analyze chemical process technologies that may reduce energy consumption, waste generation and environmental emissions.

“The new ‘umbrella CRADA’ will allow us to take on new joint ventures without having to establish a new CRADA every time; it should greatly speed up the process,” Romig said.

CRADAs are not designed to develop new products. Like most CRADAs, details of the projects are proprietary and protected by the 1989 National Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is the world’s largest tire company, employing about 100,000 people worldwide. It manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 90 facilities in 28 countries and has marketing operations in almost every country in the world. The company’'s website is http://www.goodyear.com.

Sandia Media Relations Contact:
Chris Burroughs, coburro@sandia.gov, (505) 844-0948

Goodyear Media Relations Contact:
Dave Russ, dwruss@goodyear.com, (330) 796-2572

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