NASA Tech Needs

Inhibit or Deactivate Plant Enzymes

An organization wants to deactivate or otherwise interfere with the action of enzymes pectin methylesterase and polygalacturonase, which interfere with the processing of certain fruits by degrading fruit pectins. Initial processing of the whole fruit releases the enzymes and release continues during further processing. The release of the enzymes decreases the thickening power of the fruit solids. By deactivating the enzymes, especially without using heat, more of the fruit solids thickening power may be conserved during processing. Greater retention of pectin in its natural state may also provide added benefits in serum binding and overall consumer acceptance.

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Low-Energy-Curing Technology

A company seeks new and/or advanced curing technologies to incorporate into metal packaging protective coating and decoration processes. Systems could include metal containers for aerosols, beverages, food products, and specialty packaging, all of which require external and/or internal protective coatings. Process improvement may be obtained by upgrading the efficiency of the existing thermal curing gas ovens or introducing new coating materials that can be cured more efficiently using the existing ovens.

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Reflective Aerosol

This technology need is for an aerosol with properties that enable it to be easily launched using a pulsed jet fogger. It also must have reflectivity or other optical properties, and must be safe for human cutaneous and pulmonary contact. The aerosol should have optical properties that can be manipulated using laser light or other light sources to produce large-scale images and other visual effects. The aerosol would be used to create a large image that is visible from multiple vantage points by “painting” the aerosol from within or without in such a manner that a three-dimensional object is emulated. Respond to this TechNeed at: Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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Sustainable Processes for Green Polymer Production

Technologies leading to sustainable and green production of polymers are sought. Candidate technologies should fit recently developed definitions for green chemistries. Chemistries that produce safe chemicals, that use safer solvents and auxiliaries, and/or that produce chemicals designed for degradation are preferable. Byproducts of the process should either not be hazardous, or easy and economical to be rendered harmless for people and the environment. Respond to this TechNeed at: Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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Low VOC Binder/Resin System

Technology is required to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in binder/resins while maintaining or enhancing existing product properties. Potential solutions could include the addition of a compound or additive that reduces VOC demand, a new crosslinking system for polymers to enhance molecular network formation, or another technical solution that eliminates the existing issues with the low VOC resins currently available, such as poor appearance and high viscosity during drying (as typically encountered in a water borne approach), or slow drying and high application viscosity (as typically encountered in high-solids paints).

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Rapid DC Magnetron Sputtering

DC magnetron sputtering provides a very durable and stable coating that has many high-energy laser (HEL) and industrial applications, especially in producing coatings for high-reflectivity (HR) mirrors and anti-reflection (AR) coated windows. However, the DC magnetron sputtering deposition process is extremely slow. This slow deposition results in long coating run times that translate into increased coating cost. An organization wants to reduce magnetron sputtering deposition times from 17 hours to 2 or 3 hours, while meeting current coating performance requirements. Coatings must meet MIL-C- 48497A environmental requirements.

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Making Metal Packaging Lighter

Because of increasing cost pressures on high-volume metal packaging, a manufacturer needs to make each unit weight of metal (steel and aluminum) go further. Technologies are sought that make metal packaging lighter and enhance the physical performance (like tensile strength, stiffness, etc). This could include, for example, improvements brought about by “dimpling” the metal surface and other macro surface modifications.

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