Industrial Materials for the Future (IMF) R&D Priorities

Publication Date: January 2001

Publisher: RAND Corporation

Author(s): Jonathan Mitchell; Richard Silberglitt

Research Area: Manufacturing and industry

Type: Brief


This briefing presents the results of a RAND review that identified materials research needs suitable for assistance from the Industrial Materials for the Future program, which focuses on core areas of value to multiple industries.To promote energy efficiency and productivity and reduction of environmental impact in industrial contexts, the Department of Energy sponsors both basic research through its Office of Science and nearer-term applications for specific industries through its Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT). But some research that is critical to improving materials performance in industrial environments falls into a gap between these two categories because it involves technologies that lack the maturity to support nearer-term needs. The Industrial Materials for the Future (IMF) program fills this gap by sponsoring research in core areas that are of value to multiple industries. RAND conducted an independent review to identify materials research needs consistent with both OIT’s and IMF’s mission,yielding a set of nine matrices that match performance targets with research priorities for each OIT industry. These matrices suggested a set of research areas suitable for IMF assistance, including high temperature and corrosion-resistant materials, database development and modeling, and composition-processing-properties relationships. Additional RAND work will cover specific performance goals for these, as well as the associated challenges and benefits.