Currently, Berkeley Lab has 50 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
(CRADAs) worth $42 million, funded through DOE's Energy Research Laboratory
Technology Transfer (ERLTT) program. Several of these ERLTT awards have far-
reaching potential for the American public.
In industry, Berkeley Lab has joined forces with Rouge Steel (Dearborn, Michigan)
to improve the formability and finish of electrogalvanized sheet steel, the
material used to create the outside bodies of most automobiles. The formability
and painted finish of the steel play a major role in body styling and the visual
appeal of the car, both factors which can have significant effects on car sales.
Faced with fierce competition from Japanese and European companies, Rouge Steel
sought to develop a way to produce high quality sheet steel with optimal
formability and finish. Collaborating with engineers at the Ford Motor Company,
Berkeley Lab researchers conducted friction and paintability tests to develop
criteria for the sheet surface profile, and work has now moved into the
demonstration phase. The successful completion of this research will benefit both
the domestic steel and automotive industries.
As part of the Advanced Computational Technology Initiative (ACTI), Berkeley Lab
is working with BP Exploration (United Kingdom) and Western Atlas Software
(Houston, Texas) to improve tools for flux, visualization, reservoir simulations,
and user interfaces to enhance production in its oil reservoirs. In order to gain
understanding of a reservoir, engineers must simulate the reservoir's active
forces, particularly its flow and flux and its porosity. To help provide easily
understood images, researchers at Berkeley Lab have implemented experimental
prototype algorithms for visualization of flux and flow data. Some of these
techniques are being transferred to the commercial sector, and will be available
as a vendor-supported product in 1996.