Enhanced Composite Damping Through Engineered Interfaces

Material damping is important in the design of structures as it limits vibration amplitudes, increases fatigue life, and affects impact resistance. This is particularly true for composite materials, which are currently used extensively in applications that experience frequent dynamic loading. Furthermore, the damping capacity of composites can be significantly greater than that of standard engineering materials. Like other performance parameters of composites (e.g., stiffness, strength, density), the effective damping capacity of composite materials is dependent not only on the damping properties of the constituent materials, but also microstructural details such as fiber volume fraction, fiber orientation, ply stack up, fiber packing array, and weave pattern in woven composites. Therefore, like other performance parameters, composite damping capacity can be engineered.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Composite materials, Insulation, Vibration
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Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers

Polymer strands utilize mechanically responsive chemical groups to induce self-healing.

NASA's Langley Research Center is developing an innovative self-healing resin that automatically reacts to mechanical stimuli. Current structural materials are not self-healing, making it necessary to depend on complicated and potentially destructive repair methods and long down times. Unlike other proposed self-healing materials that use microencapsulated healing agents, this technology utilizes viscoelastic properties from inherent structure properties. The resulting technology is a self-healing material with rapid rates of healing and a wide range of use temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Materials properties, Resins, Smart materials
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Methodology for the Effective Stabilization of Tin-Oxide-Based Oxidation/Reduction Catalysts

NASA Langley researchers, in work spanning more than a decade, have developed a portfolio of technologies for low-temperature gas catalysis. Originally developed to support space-based CO2 lasers, the technology has evolved into an array of performance capabilities and processing approaches, with potential applications ranging from indoor air filtration to automotive catalytic converters and industrial smokestack applications. The technology has been used commercially in systems that provide clean air to racecar drivers, as well as incorporated into commercially available filtration systems for diesel mining equipment. Backed with extensive research on these technologies, NASA welcomes interest in the portfolio for other commercial and industrial applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Catalysts, Gases, Air cleaners
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Polymer-Reinforced, Non-Brittle, Lightweight Cryogenic Insulation for Reduced Lifecycle Costs

The objective of this project was to develop inexpensive structural cryogenic insulation foam that has increased impact resistance for launch and ground-based cryogenic systems. Two parallel approaches were used: a silica-polymer co-foaming technique and a post-foam coating technique. Structures were fabricated using both techniques to formulate insulation for the specified applications. The insulation will survive in space and terrestrial environments, provide a good moisture barrier, and exhibit thermal insulation properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Life cycle analysis, Fabrication, Foams, Insulation, Polymers
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Metal Stamping Design Guidelines

Metal Stamping provides an economical way to produce quantities of parts that can possess many qualities, including strength, durability, wear resistance, good conductive properties, and stability. In this paper, we are sharing some ideas that can help you design a part that optimizes all the features that the metal stamping process offers.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aeronautics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Mechanical Components, Design processes, Stamping, Metals, Parts
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High-Temperature, Hydrophobic, Flexible Aerogel Composite and Method of Making Same

This technology is well suited for environments requiring insulation materials that can withstand temperatures of up to 1200 °C.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) has developed a method for fabricating low-density, flexible aerogel composites for use as thermal insulation for myriad applications. It is ideal for a variety of environments that require insulation materials that can withstand temperatures of up to 1200 °C. This innovation significantly advances the state of the art for composite insulation systems, reducing adherence problems and thermal conductivity limitations of conventional aerogel insulations while improving performance with lower weight, lower density, and higher efficiency, all factors contributing to greater applicability of aerogel insulation.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Performance upgrades, Fabrication, Composite materials, Insulation
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Mechanical Components from Highly Recoverable, Low Apparent Modulus Materials

Shock-resistant material eliminates corrosion and polishes to a smooth surface finish.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed a new method for producing a shock- and corrosion-proof, superelastic, intermetallic material, NiTiNOL 60 (60NiTi), for use in ball bearings and other mechanical components. These superelastic materials can withstand tremendous loads and stresses without permanent deformation or denting. At the same time, the nickel-titanium alloy is immune to corrosion and rust, unlike mechanical components made from iron or steel. In addition, the material does not chemically degrade or break down lubricants, a common problem with existing bearing materials. This material is best suited for oil-lubricated rolling and sliding contact applications requiring superior and intrinsic corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and non-magnetic properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Lubricating oils, Materials properties, Nickel alloys, Titanium alloys, Bearings, Durability
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Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System

This technology provides permanent, flexible, and less intrusive wire repairs.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System technology to industry. The Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System is a kit consisting of thin film polyimide patches that are applied to damaged areas of wire insulation with a heating device that adheres the polyimide repair film into place. The technology has been prototyped and successfully tested by NASA and the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). Wire repairs made with this system are permanent, flexible, and much less intrusive than repairs made using current techniques and materials. The technology is well suited for all applications of polyimide and other high-performance polymer- jacketed wire constructions.

Posted in: Briefs, Composites, Materials, Electric cables, Wiring, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Insulation, Polymers
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Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection

This technology can be used by wildland firefighters and first responders.

CHIEFS (Convective Heating Im provement for Emergency Fire Shelters) is being developed by NASA’s Langley Research Center to potentially improve the performance of emergency fire shelters for wildland firefighters. A fire shelter is a last-resort safety measure that may protect firefighters entrapped by wildfire that has compromised their escape route. The current shelter design, resembling a small foldable tent, is primarily designed to protect the user from exposure from radiant heat. It provides limited protection when exposed to direct flame contact and convective heat. The Washington Office Fire and Aviation Management (WO-FAM) initiated a product review for the fire shelters to be completed by 2018. NASA is working closely with the USDA Forest Service to understand the emergency fire shelter requirements and testing procedures.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Product development, Insulation, Fire fighting, Protective structures, Rescue and emergency vehicles and equipment
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Aerofoam

This foam composite insulation can be optimized for different material properties.

Aerofoam is a unique foam composite insulation with improved thermal and acoustic insulation properties. The novelty of this invention comes from combining a polymer foam with a unique inorganic filler in a way that maximizes thermal performance while maintaining mechanical performance, chemical resistance, fire resistance, and acoustic insulation capabilities. The development of new manufacturing processes has also allowed for the development of these unique composite materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Composite materials, Foams, Insulation, Materials properties, Polymers
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