Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)


FLC Region

Security Lab



P.O Box 5800
MS 1495
Albuquerque, NM 87185-1495
United States

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Laboratory Representative


Organized and built as a result of atomic research that began in New Mexico in 1942, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has undergone many changes, especially in the types of scientific research and engineering programs carried out at the facilities. Sandia's primary mission remains ensuring that the nation has a reliable nuclear deterrent, but over the years other programs of a complementary nature or of particular national interest have been added. Almost from its inception, SNL has engaged in some type of technology transfer. Because Sandia's primary role for the DoE has been converting laboratory prototypes into usable products, the laboratory has been particularly effective over the past 30 years in sharing inventions, ideas and engineering know-how with private industry. Sandia's transferred technologies have become successful commercial products, accounting for thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in worldwide sales. With the emergence of a new threat to our national security--the declining competitiveness of key US industries in world markets--transferring technology from the national laboratories to the private sector has taken on important new dimensions. Like other DoE laboratories, Sandia has developed a broader, more aggressive technology transfer program to meet this new responsibility.


Sandia National Laboratories enhances the security, prosperity and well-being of the nation by responding to the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly dynamic and demanding world with broad-based research and development programs that create solutions contributing to military security, energy security, environmental integrity and economic competitiveness. Our longest standing program (within the military security mission area) is implementation of the nation's nuclear weapon policies through research, development and testing in nuclear ordinance, arms control and weapon surety. As a multiprogram laboratory, we also serve the nation through a variety of programs that directly contribute to both national energy security and environmental integrity. By working through partnerships with industry and academia based on road maps generated by industry, Sandia is able to assist in the development of multiple national infrastructures (such as manufacturing, information and transportation systems, and cost-effective health care technologies) that are critical to our mission of economic security and that also are day to the objectives of programs within the other mission areas. In this context Sandia technologies and contributions exhibit a dual-use character.

Technology Disciplines

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Coinage Metal Nanoparticles for Nanoinks
Composition pulse time-of-flight mass flow sensor
Configuration Self-Scrubber for Xilinx Virtex-5QV FPGAs
Control System for Active Damping of Inter-Area Oscillations
Correlation Spectrometer
Corrosion sensor
Cryogenic Heating Stage
Delivery or Removal of Metals From Biological Systems
Deployable Centralizers for Directional Drilling
Designer Catalysts for Next Generation Fuel Synthesis


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Explosive Technology Group
Geomechanics Laboratory
Ion Beam Laboratory
Materials Science and Engineering Center
Mechanical Test and Evaluation Facility
Microsystems Engineering, Science and Applications (MESA)
National Solar Thermal Test Facility
Nuclear Energy Safety Technologies
Nuclear Facilities Resource Center
Photovoltaic Laboratories



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Sandia - CRADAs

CRADAs - An overview for industry partners
Lab Representatives

When the long-term partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company began in 1992, Goodyear was using commercial mechanics codes to model a tire’s behavior. In the mid-1990s, Sandia researchers adapted one of their nonlinear finite element codes—not available commercially—to Goodyear’s tire design and testing applications. This robust form of computational simulation has been used in the design of almost every new Goodyear product.

As the partnership continued, acceptance of faster, more accurate, and more complex simulation tools by the Goodyear design community grew. In some cases, new tires were accepted on first submission by automakers for their new vehicle models. Goodyear’s Assurance TripleTred is an example of a major tire product that was developed with simulation tools that helped to design its innovative features for maximum performance while bringing it to market in less than a year. Goodyear and Sandia jointly won an R&D 100 Award in 2005 as a result.

The major breakthrough was the ability to run very detailed tire simulations quickly. The ability to accurately model the mechanical response of a tire as it goes into service on a vehicle—including mounting on a rim, inflation, vehicle loading, and rolling on the road with braking and cornering—enabled Goodyear to make a fundamental change in its tire design process. This allowed computational simulation to replace many prototype builds and tests.

With this technology, tire simulations with very high levels of detail could be run in a couple of days. Before the Sandia/Goodyear partnership, each tire design was followed by the manufacture of a set of prototype tires that were then tested extensively. Each test resulted in further design modifications. Since three to five design iterations were typical, three to five sets of prototype tires had to be built and tested, a process that could take two years.

State-of-the-art rubber material models have also been developed. They can represent the mechanical behavior of the various rubber compounds in a tire while including the effects of temperature, frequency, and strain level. The Sandia/Goodyear strategic partnership has recently expanded to focus on high-speed rolling, noise modeling, snow and mud traction modeling, and fully coupled thermo/mechanical rolling simulations.

Fully coupled thermo/mechanical rolling simulations are needed in order to develop a tire with minimum rolling resistance. Tires with reduced rolling resistance will have major benefits for customers, vehicle manufacturers, and the nation due to the associated savings in energy and oil consumption. The Transportation Research Board estimated that a rolling resistance reduction of 50 percent would save 10 billion gallons of fuel each year.

To view the original Sandia press release on this partnership success, visit

Simulation of tire performance guides the development of tire tread design for improved fuel. Image is courtesy of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company economy.

NMSBA assists for-profit small businesses in New Mexico with access to experts at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory. These experts help businesses gain knowledge and solve challenges utilizing the labs’ cutting-edge technologies. The assistance is provided at no cost to the businesses.

NMSBA was created in 2000 by the New Mexico State Legislature. The law provides the labs with a Small Business Tax Credit to bring their technologies and expertise to small businesses in New Mexico. The program promotes economic development with an emphasis on rural areas. Since the inception of NMSBA, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories have assisted 2,195 businesses and provided $39 million of technical assistance to small businesses in all 33 counties of New Mexico. The program has helped create or retain 3,510 jobs. Under the program, the labs are committed to solving small businesses’ critical challenges with National Laboratory expertise and resources; influencing New Mexico business development by building capacity, capabilities, and competencies; and acting as an advocate for small businesses through an entrepreneurial culture.

NMSBA has received three awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC):

  • 2014 Mid-Continent Region Award for Outstanding State and Local Government Collaboration
  • 2011 National Award for State and Local Economic Development
  • 2009 Mid-Continent Region Award for Outstanding Regional Partnership

NMSBA Participant Example: SAVSU Technologies Protects Vaccines in Developing Countries

The company SAVSU, which stands for “State of the Art Vaccine Storage Unit,” is clear about its mission. Inexpensive vaccines can save millions of lives, yet 14–35 percent of vaccines worldwide are exposed to freezing conditions that compromise or destroy them.

Bruce McCormick of SAVSU designed the NanoQ container to store vaccines at proper temperatures. The container uses advances in materials science, including NASA technology to overcome the freezing potential of ice while harnessing its energy storage capacity. SAVSU also began development of a solar thermal icemaker for the NanoQ, attempting to overcome the limited success of previous attempts by redesigning the technology for small volumes of ice.

Through NMSBA, McCormick teamed with Eric Coker and Brian Iverson of Sandia National Laboratories to undertake a massive review of technology relating to solar thermal ice makers, calculate optimal thermal performance criteria, and create a design basis to apply solar thermal ice making capability to the SAVSU cooler.

Anthrax, an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracic, poses a significant threat to U.S. national security as demonstrated by the 2001 terrorist attacks that targeted the U.S. Postal Service and Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.

Sandia National Laboratories developed an anthrax detection sensor for low-resource environments called the Anthrax Detection Cartridge. The portable device, developed from a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project, is inexpensive and requires no power to run and minimal training to operate. It quickly provides highly reliable anthrax detection in controlled environments, rivaling the selectivity of rigorous laboratory analysis.

Winner of a 2014 R&D 100 Award, the Anthrax Detection Cartridge is a self-contained, credit-card sized test system that cultures a sample in a patent-pending amplification chamber using selective growth media. Once a sample is inserted, patent-pending magnetically operated valves advance it from stage to stage to complete the testing process. The device uses a lateral flow assay (LFA) to determine if the sample is dangerous anthrax, and then treats the sample with disinfectant.

Anthrax outbreaks are common in livestock and pose significant risks to animal and public health. Diagnosis currently often requires isolation and analysis of the organism within a laboratory. These resources are often absent or difficult to obtain in rural or poorer areas. With minor modifications, simply swapping out the selective growth medium and LFA strip, the cartridges can be adapted to detect other bacteria, such as salmonella in agricultural settings, as well as bacteria of medical interest.

Aquila, a woman-owned small business based in New Mexico that specializes in the design and manufacture of technologies and services for nuclear security and international safeguards, is licensing the Anthrax Detection Cartridge technology and plans to manufacture the device. Company officials see a potential market among government and commercial customers. Company officials praised the technical support they received from Sandia as well as the smooth and rapid licensing process.

An Umbrella Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between Aquila and Sandia should result in more collaboration on this and other joint projects. Sandia is continuing to refine the technology and adapt it for other markets interested in rapid detection of biological hazards.

When the 2011 tsunami struck the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, it contaminated seawater with radioactive cesium. It was quickly determined that Sandia National Laboratories’ crystalline silico-titanates (CSTs) would be an excellent material for removing cesium from contaminated seawater that was used to cool the plant’s reactors. Sandia and its corporate partner UOP, a Honeywell company, worked around the clock to license and deploy the technology in Japan, where it continues to be used to clean up cesium contaminated seawater at the Fukushima power plant.

The technology transfer of the CST technology to Honeywell UOP has led to more collaboration with Sandia such as a work-for-others agreement with UOP to access a second Sandia material for radioactive cleanup. Honeywell UOP has also recently announced an investment of $20 million to expand its production facility to produce adsorbents and catalysts, including CSTs.

CSTs are synthetic zeolites designed by Sandia scientists to selectively capture radioactive cesium and other group I metals. Honeywell UOP holds an exclusive license for the use of CSTs in the field of radiation waste applications. Honeywell UOP has put the CSTs in its IONSIV™ Selective Media product line and is using them in the effort to clean up the Fukushima power plant.

This technology received two awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC):

• 2013 National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer

• 2012 Mid-Continent Region Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer

To date, CSTs have been used to clean up more than 85 million gallons of cesium contaminated water at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.



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