UMaine and ORNL Hub & Spoke Partnership

Research collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UMaine.

The Hub & Spoke partnership between the two organizations began in June 2019 with Phase 1 completion on September 2022.  The goal of the partnership between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UMaine is to accelerate the advancement of nanocellulose and other forest products composite technology, reduce the time from laboratory discovery to market impact, and facilitate the transition of bio-based Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies to industry.  This collaboration is the first large-scale bio-based additive manufacturing program in the US, connecting regional industry and university clusters with national lab resources.

Scientists from ORNL and UMaine are conducting research in several key areas, including CNF production, drying, functionalization, and compounding with thermoplastics, multiscale modeling, and sustainability life-cycle analysis. As a forest product, CNF could rival steel properties and its successful incorporation into plastics shows great promise for a renewable feedstock suitable for additive manufacturing.

APPTI, in collaboration with ORNL, will be hosting a webinar series to share research findings from this program.  The webinar series will launch in later January 2022.  Watch for more information on the APPTI website.