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Energy Department Funds Coatings Research

Friday, August 19, 2016

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Three organizations will be able to make use of federal funding to perform research on ways that coatings can contribute to reducing vehicle weight and improving fuel economy.

As the federal agency committed to advancing energy technology and promoting related innovation in the United States, the Department of Energy announced a $137 million nationwide investment in commercial and passenger vehicle efficiency.

PPG, Michigan State University and HRL Laboratories LLC were each awarded a portion of that money to put toward coatings-related projects.

DOE fuel efficiency research
Photos: Department of Energy

The DOE is funding 35 new projects to develop and deploy a wide array of cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including coatings and adhesives, that will help to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum consumption in passenger cars and light trucks.

“These investments will accelerate the development of innovative vehicle technologies that will save businesses and consumers money at the pump, cut carbon emissions, and strengthen our economy,” said Acting Assistant Secretary David Friedman.

Next-Gen Technologies

The Energy Department says its grants will support development of next-generation technologies that will help industry partners surpass new Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards while also accelerating technology advances for passenger cars and light trucks.

Under its Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity, 35 new projects are receiving $57 million to develop and deploy a range of cutting-edge vehicle technologies.

The remaining funds are dedicated to the department’s SuperTruck II initiative, which develops and demonstrates cost-effective technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of large trucks commonly known as 18-wheelers.

Coatings Projects

PPG’s Allison Park, PA, facility is receiving $2,212,519 to develop new coating and adhesives that enable carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic/aluminum closure panels and validate corrosion testing methods.

HRL Laboratories (formerly Hughes Research Laboratories and the research arm of Hughes Aircraft), located in Malibu, CA, has been granted joint funding of $1,400,260 to develop a scalable, low-cost process to produce the thermal barrier coatings, and apply these coatings on engine components (e.g., valve faces, piston crowns, and exhaust ports) to improve fuel economy.

Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the DOE and the Department of the Army, the Army is contributing $2.21 million co-funding to areas where there are joint development opportunities. HRL’s research is one of a handful of projects eligible for a portion of these joint funds.

The DOE is also giving Lansing-based Michigan State University $999,943 to develop an electrochemical-mechanical model to design artificially solid electrolyte interface coatings.

A complete list of awarded projects is available here.

Most of the projects will support the goals of EV Everywhere, an Energy Department program that aims to make plug-in electric vehicles as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.


Tagged categories: Adhesive; Automotive coatings; Coating Materials; Coatings Technology; Funding; Grants; North America; PPG; Research and development; U.S. Army; U.S. Department of Energy

Comment from John Fauth, (8/19/2016, 8:49 AM)

This article and the program it describes should be a case study in governmental inefficiencies and wastefulness. It defies reality to imply that without $ 137 million from the US Government, there will not be sufficient industry funded research on producing lighter, more energy efficient cars. Does PPG really need government money to continue development/improvement of their automobile coatings? Let's throw a few million to BASF as well. And this from an administration that demonizes corporate welfare?

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