Materials & Coatings

Evaluating the Chemistry of Brake Pads using SEM-EDS

Brake pads are a critical part of a vehicle’s overall braking system. With the broad diversity of available brake pad types, sub-types and unique chemistries there is an open question as to which brake pad provides the best overall performance.

Posted in: White Papers

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Flexible, High-Temperature Polyimide/Urea Aerogels

Cross-linked polyimide/urea aerogels are potential candidates for insulation for clothing, wrap-around items such as hoses, and refrigeration units. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Cross-linked silica-based aerogels with polymeric materials, as well as incorporating a flexible linkage into the underlying metal oxide, have been proven to improve strength and resilience over their native, or non-cross-linked, counterparts without adversely affecting porosity and density. In this invention, high-temperature, stable, all-organic polyimide aerogels are prepared as reacting linear polyimide chains with a functional monomer to create branchings that are further room-temperature-cured with multifunctional isocyanate to form a three-dimensional network.

Posted in: Briefs

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Multilayer Insulation Systems

Applications exist where cryogenic fluids or liquefied gases are required, and in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), power transmission in big cities, food freezing, and blood banks. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Cryogenic fluid management (CFM) is a critical technical area that is needed for the successful development of future space exploration. A key challenge is the storability of LH2, LCH4, and LOX propellants for long durations. The storage tanks must be well insulated to prevent over-pressurization and venting, which lead to unacceptable propellant losses for long-duration missions to Mars and beyond.

Posted in: Briefs

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Colorimetric Indicator for Detection of AF-M315E

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida An easy and instant method of detection was needed for AF-M315E, a “green” propellant that produces very little vapor. This makes it hard to detect by smell or other active sensors.

Posted in: Briefs

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Oriented Nanofibers Embedded in a Polymer Matrix

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas A method of forming a composite of embedded nanofibers in a polymer matrix with a high degree of alignment has been created using a nanofiber continuous fiber (NCF) system. This innovation incorporates nanofibers in a plastic matrix forming agglomerates, and then uniformly distributes them by exposing the agglomerates to hydrodynamic stresses that force the agglomerates to break apart. In combination, or additionally, elongational flow is used to achieve small diameters and alignment.

Posted in: Briefs

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Low-Scatter Starshade Edges

This technology has applications in flexible optical masks, apertures, and encoders where sharp edges and material robustness are important. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A starshade occulter is a large space structure whose shape is specially designed to produce a diffraction pattern in starlight that can aid a telescope in direct imaging of exoplanets. The diffraction pattern produces extremely high-contrast dark regions in the starshade’s shadow on the order of 10-9 or 10-10. To do so, the edge shape of the structure must be held to extremely tight tolerances. In addition, potentially obscuring glint light from the Sun must be minimized to prevent loss of contrast.

Posted in: Briefs

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Driving Auto Performance Through Lubricant Selection

Underhood temperatures are gradually rising as aerodynamics dictate tighter packaging and large engines are being replaced by smaller turbocharged and supercharged engines for improved fuel efficiency. With ambient temperatures under the hood exceeding 120 °C (248 °F), finding a lubricant that can withstand the high temperatures for an extended period of time is key.

Posted in: White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives

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