Laboratory Profile
DOE - Albany Research Center (ARC)

Far West Bulletin - Spring 2004 Issue
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Technology Transfer Contact:
Mr. Paul Turner
DOE-Albany Research Center
1450 Queen Ave., S.W.
Albany, OR 97321-2198
541-967-5863 Fax: 541-967-5991
Email: turner@alrc.doe.gov
Web: www.alrc.doe.gov
The Albany Research Center (ARC) is a materials research center that is dedicated to providing solutions that make the Nation's energy systems safe, efficient, and secure. ARC research directly contributes to National energy needs by providing information on the performance characteristics of materials being specified for the current generation of power systems, on the development of cost-effective materials for inclusion in the next generation of fossil fired power systems, and for solving environmental emission and waste problems related to fossil fired energy systems.

The Center, located in Albany, Oregon, has a staff approximately 90. The Center was founded in 1942 as a part of the U. S. Bureau of Mines, and in 1995 was transferred to the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy.

Mission:

To provide solutions that make the Nation's energy systems safe, efficient, and secure.

Areas of Expertise:

The Albany Research Center is a unique materials science research center that offers a broad suite of capabilities and expertise in materials research. ARCs research program focuses on extending component service lifetimes through the improvement and protection of current materials, by the design of new materials, and defining the service operating conditions for new materials in order to ensure their safe and effective use. Emphasis is placed on high-temperature testing (corrosion, wear, erosion, etc.) and modeling in environments anticipated for the Vision 21 concepts, on the development of sulfidation/oxidation resistant materials which can also resist thermal cycling for pressurized circulating fluidized bed reactors, development and repair of refractory materials for coal gasifiers, and development of micro-reactors for fuel cells.

Some current research areas include:

  • Advanced Foil Lamination Technology - Micro-reactors for energy related applications including reformers, hydrogen separation, and heat exchange.
  • Oxidation and Sulfidation Resistant Materials - Novel stainless steels with performance characteristics necessary for process streams in advanced heat recovery and hot gas cleanup systems (700 to 800oC).
  • Carbon Dioxide Sequestration by Mineral Carbonation Using a Continuous Flow Reactor - Demonstrates a continuous flow reactor that will advance the mineral carbonation studies from laboratory-scale batch experiments to the initial stages of industrial process development.
  • Integrated Removal of Pollutants from Fossil Fueled Power Plants - Investigates an approach that fully integrates emission handling from conventional fossil fueled plant designs by compressing flue gases with heat recovery.
  • Advanced Refractories for Gasifiers - Develops technologies that will reliably extend the lifetime of refractory liners in slagging coal gasifier systems to at least three years; and improve thermocouple assemblies to more effectively withstand the molten slag attack of coal ashes.
  • Mechanisms of Corrosion Under Ash Deposits - Determines the influence of coal ash deposits, molten salts, and thermal gradients on the mechanisms of corrosion of alloys used in coal-fired, coal gasification, and biomass power plants.
  • Non-Isothermal Corrosion and Oxidation - Determines the effects of thermal gradients and heat fluxes on the corrosion behavior of metals commonly used in high-temperature components of fossil energy power plants.
Facilities and Resources:

Melting and Casting Facility

  • Electric arc furnaces for smelting or melting (50 lb to 1 ton).
  • ARC-patented induction slag ingot and casting furnaces for titanium, zirconium, and columbium.
  • Two 6 inch vacuum arc/electroslag remelting consumable electrode furnaces.
  • Skull casting furnace, a split graphite resistor furnace, and a vacuum sintering furnace.
  • Four induction furnaces. (Vacuum casting and vacuum melting available)
  • Ferrous and nonferrous (grams to 300 lbs). Skull casting furnace (static and centrifugal casting). Expertise in evaporative pattern and all types of sand casting is available.
Fabrication Facility
  • Various sizes of heat treating furnaces, some capable of handling material up to 8 feet in length and temperatures up to 2,300 F. A vacuum furnace (to 2000 F) is also available.
  • 750 ton, variable speed, 14-inch rolling mill (4 inches in thickness, 16 inches in width).
  • 4-inch rolling mill.
  • Vacuum (10-4 torr) rolling mill for rolling thin sheet at room and elevated temperature.
  • 500 ton reciprocating forge.
  • 200 ton Baldwin single action general purpose press.
  • Rotary swaging machines.
  • Wire drawing (cold only).
Wear and Fracture Facility
  • Dry-sand rubber-wheel scratching abrasive wear test to simulate three-body abrasive wear.
  • Single and multiple impact wear test equipment to simulate particle erosion.
  • Jet erosion dry-particle erosive wear test to simulate particle abrasion in a gas stream.
  • Ball-on-Ball and ball on block impact spalling test for determining the resistance to fracture of commercial and experimental grinding balls.
  • Pin-on-drum high-stress abrasion test to simulate two-body abrasive wear.
  • Jaw crusher, gouging abrasion test to simulate wear in earth-penetrating equipment and in jaw crushers.
  • Single multiple-pass scratch tester for simulating the abrasion process.
Corrosion Test Facility
  • Severe Environment Corrosion Erosion Facility (SECERF) - The SECERF is a multi-lab, modular facility that allows researchers to safely examine the performance of materials under severely corrosive and/or erosive environments similar to those that exist in fossil fuel fired power plants, gasifiers, and the like.
  • Corrosion laboratory with computer-controlled potentiostats, galvanostats, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, critical pitting temperature, critical crevice corrosion and critical pitting potential systems.
  • Autoclaves and high-pressure chambers for elevated-temperature electrochemical and corrosion studies.
  • Electrochemically controlled wear-corrosion test systems including pin-on-disk, slurry erosion-corrosion, sliding wear-corrosion, abrasive wear corrosion, and single scratch tests.
  • Environmentally-induced cracking system to evaluate stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion fatigue.

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