Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory

MATERIALS -- SNS's bright beginnings . . .

Months into its commissioning since the first neutrons were made in late April 2006, the Spallation Neutron Source is distinguishing itself as a robust neutron source. The SNS has set records for the highest-energy proton linear accelerator in the world, for the highest number of protons in an accumulator ring and for the highest brightness, or protons per pulse onto the mercury target. Three instruments--the backscattering spectrometer and the liquids and magnetism reflectometers--are already receiving neutrons. In some configurations, the reflectometers are receiving neutron beams intense enough to saturate the detectors, even operating at 2 percent of the SNS's eventual 1.4 megawatts of power. All in all, these early accomplishments mark a promising beginning to decades of neutron science. [Contact: Bill Cabage, (865) 574-4399; cabagewh@ornl.gov]

MATERIALS -- Coatings R Us . . .

Characterization work by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has confirmed what Alpharetta, Ga., startup company C3 International founder Mark Deininger suspected. His companys nano-film coating is like none other and could have dozens of industrial applications. Through a High Temperature Materials Laboratory user project, a team of researchers performed numerous tests on the C3 materials and found that the proprietary coatings substantially increase wear resistance of most components they have tested. In the field, the oxide films have proven themselves as they have extended the life of steel industry rollers, die casting molds at a wheel plant and even blades to cut 11 billion ketchup packets each year. The trick is applying rare-earth and other metal oxide films at low temperature (450 degrees Celsius) in a variety of combinations at the nano-scale. The films bond to most non-organic surfaces, including carbides, steel, glass, ceramics, cer

Contact: Ron Walli
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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