Tag: oak ridge national laboratory

Oak Ridge boffins work out how to dry their clothes

Boffins at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are worried what they will use to dry their clothes when their mothers can’t manage anymore.

A team has come up with a dryer that could make doing laundry much quicker which is five times more energy efficient than most conventional dryers.

It does not matter if you have not done any washing for a couple of months because the drier can do a large load of clothes in about half the time.

Instead of using heat the way most dryers do, the ultrasonic dryer relies on high-frequency vibrations.

Devices called green transducers convert electricity into vibrations, shaking the water from clothes. The scientists say that this method will allow a medium load of laundry to dry in 20 minutes, which is significantly less time than the average 50 minutes it takes in many heat-based machines.

The drying technology also leaves less lint behind than normal dryers do, since the majority of lint is created when the hot air stream blows tiny fibres off of clothing.

Drying clothes without heat also reduces the chance that their colours will fade.

According to the US Department of Energy, the ultrasonic dryer has been in development for the past couple of years.

But now it has recently been “developed into a full-scale press dryer and clothes dryer drum — setting the stage for it to one day go to market through partners like General Electric Appliances”.

IBM and Nvidia start supercomputer centres

IBM logoNvidia and IBM have teamed up to create two supercomputer centres – one based at the Lawrence Livermore labs and the other at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

It’s part of IBM’s supercomputing contract with the US Department of Energy (DoE) and will help to create scientific and engineering applications for DoE initiatives and for two supercomputers called Summit and Sierra.

Summit and Sierra will be delivered to both Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore in 2017 and will swing into operation in 2018.

Applications will be created for energy, climate research, cosmogology, biophysics and health. But there will also be applications related to US national security.

Summit and Sierra will be built using IBM Power CPUsand with Tesla GPU accelerators, using Nvidia’s NVLink, which is a high speed processor bus.

Engineering scientists from IBM and Nvidia will work together with scientis at both labs to optimise code and speed up performance.

IBM said it’s more than just delivering hardware systems and they believe that the work the four teams will do will create new ways of thinking about applications and software.

Graphene discovery points to large scale production

Scientists have concocted a recipe for growing graphene that will help ease the transition towards its widespread use in electronics devices.

A team of researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found that it’s hydrogen rather than carbon which plays a fundamental part in creating a uniform crystalline form.

Not only does hydrogen initiate growth in the wonder material, it is also vital in creating the perfect hexagonal shapes of a “faultless single crystal structure” say the researchers. This is vital in its application with electronics.

In the past, graphene growth has centred around carbon, though this has produced odd-shaped graphene grains that were less likely to be single grains.

The scientists previously thought that hydrogen played a passive role in the growth of graphene. But they have now discovered the effect it has on both “the activation of absorbed molecules that initiate the growth of graphene” and the “elimination of weak bonds at the grain edges that control the quality of the graphene.”

This has opened doors to a method for reliably synthesising the material on a large scale.

Control of the grain size impacts on the functionality of graphene in transistors, semiconductors and “potentially hundreds of electronics devices.”

According to one of the scientists, the use of hydrogen in graphene growth constitutes a “major breakthrough towards graphene implementation in real-world-devices”.

If it brings the use of graphene a step closer then it certainly is an exciting prospect. There are many potential applications of the Nobel-prize winning wonder material, with IBM developing its potential as a future IC technology.