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February 29, 2000

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Sandia, Ford Sign Broad Agreement To Jointly Pursue Technology Developments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories and Ford Motor Company have agreed to conduct cooperative technology research and development across a broad variety of areas including manufacturing, materials science, and electronics.

The pact was formally agreed to Feb. 10 by Sandia Director of Corporate Business Development and Partnerships David Goldheim and Ford Vice President for Research William F. Powers. It was signed at Sandia's New Mexico laboratory site today (Feb. 29) by Dan Hartley, Sandia vice president for Laboratory Development, and Rod Tabaczynski, director of Ford Research Laboratory's Powertrain & Vehicle Research Lab.

The five-year agreement is visualized as a $5 million project, but both the time period and financial value could change. Sandia and Ford will share in funding the project according to negotiated terms.

Technical categories in which projects could be pursued include:

  • Manufacturing equipment development, characterization, and automation
  • Modeling and simulation, comprising code development and application
  • Process and device modeling and simulation
  • Environmentally conscious manufacturing technologies
  • Materials development and characterization
  • Manufacturing control subsystems

In the pact's first two projects, Sandia and Ford are collaborating to evaluate a cold spray deposition (CSD) process and the follow-on process of evaluating CSD coatings for powertrain components, engine bores, and tooling applications.

CSD is an emerging high-rate, low-temperature material deposition process that could be applied in automotive manufacturing and in DOE's defense and energy programs. Among the advantages it offers: It requires no chemical changes in materials, allows the deposition of composite materials, and can be used to put together dissimilar materials.

The agreement notes that Sandia will use Ford's "production-oriented knowledge base...(to) enhance its infrastructure and technology base in manufacturing, materials science, and electronics." Ford, which has participated in CRADAs (cooperative research and development agreements) with Sandia in the past, expects to benefit through access to the Labs' "broad and highly relevant technology base." "The goal of this CRADA," it says, "is both to provide value to the industry partner and to help maintain the technology base vital to DOE's core mission. This goal must be achieved for all projects."

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia technical contact:
Clinton Atwood, clatwoo@sandia.gov, (505) 844-0816

Sandia media contact:
Howard Kercheval, hckerch@sandia.gov, (505) 844-7842

Ford technical contact:
Zafar Shaikh, fshaikh@ford.com, (313) 594-1008

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