Materials & Coatings

'Snap' Design Mimics Venus Flytrap

A team led by physicist Christian Santangelo at the University of Massachusetts Amherst uses curved creases to give thin shells a fast, programmable snapping motion. The technique – inspired by the natural "snapping systems" like Venus flytrap leaves and hummingbird beaks – avoids the need for complicated materials and fabrication methods when creating structures with fast dynamics.

Posted in: News, Joining & Assembly

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Benefits of Low-Volume Production

Learn how to decrease your time to market as well as reducing risk and cost associated with injection molding. Although low-volume production is typically used at the beginning of the product life cycle, it can also be useful at the end of a products life. In this presentation you will not only learn about plastic injection molding but also liquid silicone rubber, metal and magnesium injection molding. Learn the ins and outs of low volume production and how it can benefit you and your product.

Posted in: Tech Talks, Plastics

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Coming Soon - Nano-Textured Coatings Keep Surfaces Clean

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed two unique coating formulations that will keep surfaces clean and sanitary and contain contaminants.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars, Coatings & Adhesives

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Design For Manufacturability - Advanced Technologies That Aid Engineers In The Transition From Design To Production

In conjunction with SAE The aerospace industry is embracing technological breakthroughs concerning advanced materials and additive manufacturing to maximize manufacturing efficiencies. As a result, engineering’s emphasis has switched from understanding the basics of advanced materials and additive manufacturing to incorporating them into the early stages of designs. This webcast will look at processes and tools being used by engineers throughout the industry to maximize the communication and collaboration skills between design and manufacturing so that better decisions are made early in the development stage, no matter how small the component or how big the aircraft. Webinar attendees will be invited to interact with the experts during an Audience Q&A.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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Lightweight, Flexible, Energy-Manageable Polymer Nanocomposites

Applications include solar power panels on aircraft wings or building roofs, and in hybrid car engines. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Solar energy has attracted keen attention because it is a unique, clean, and sustainable energy resource. It is also widely utilized as a power source in space exploration. A lightweight, durable, deployable, and highly efficient all polymer-based solar power panel was developed comprising a highly efficient thermoelectric conducting polymer composite layer and highly efficient solar absorbance/passive cooling coatings for maximizing efficiency of the power conversion.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Nanocomposites for Radiation Shielding

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Currently, lead and lead-based materials are used to fabricate shields not only for X-rays, but also for other types of radiation. With the growing environmental concern about the toxicity of lead, and the high costs associated with transporting heavy lead-based shields in spacecraft, alternatives are needed for fabricating X-ray shields that are less toxic and lighter.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Lightweight, High-Strength Nanocomposite Magnesium for Radiators

New material offers an exceptional balance of properties and cost. Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama The next generation of radiators will be designed using a composite with the combination of the lowest density, highest thermal conductivity, and highest strength. A scalable, low-cost process was developed to advance state-of-the-art metal matrix thermal conductors to reach a theoretical goal of 578 W/mK (270W/mK achieved), a density less than aluminum (1.7g.cc achieved), and a yield strength over 30 ksi (≈207 MPa, 42 ksi achieved). The incorporation of nanofibers into metals has been heavily researched to improve mechanical and thermal properties of materials, with limited technical and commercial success. The problem of incorporating high-aspect-ratio, high-surface-area particles (including fiber and flake) with controlled and repeatable concentration and distribution into molten metals is a large undertaking, and must factor in the molten metal temperature, composition, and surface tension. Direct feeding of the particles does not work, as particles burn, react with the molten metal, or do not stay in the metal. Other feeding mechanisms such as auger feeding into the metal, in-situ formation, and stir casting are cost-prohibitive and not always scalable.

Posted in: Briefs

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