Materials & Coatings

Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

Applications for the strong, flexible material include thermal insulation and lightweight sandwich structures. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio NASA-developed polyimide aerogels are 500 times stronger than conventional silica aerogels. The innovative aerogels represent a revolutionary advance over fragile silica aerogels because they are highly flexible and foldable in thin film form. As a thin film, they can be used to insulate industrial pipelines, automotive shields, and temporary housing structures, and can be used within protective clothing such as firefighting jackets, space suits, and parkas. As a thicker part, they can be easily molded to a shape, or sanded and machined to provide insulation as well as mechanical support. No other aerogel possesses the compressive and tensile strength of the NASA innovation while still retaining its ability to be flexibly folded to contour to whatever shape is needed.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Forming, Polymers, Tensile Strength


Catalytic Oxidation of Organic Contaminants at Reduced Pressure

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama The current technology for catalytic oxidation of aqueous organic contaminants at elevated temperature and pressure works well at operating conditions of 265 °F and 70 psia with effluent TOCs (total organic carbon) of less than 0.5 ppm. However, it does not perform well at the reduced temperature, i.e., sub-water-boiling temperature (200 °F), and the reduced pressure such as ambient pressure (14.7 psia) as indicated by the effluent TOCs approximately the same as feed TOC.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Catalysts, Fluids and secretions, Biohazards


Approach for Achieving Flame Retardancy While Retaining Physical Properties in a Compatible Polymer Matrix

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Advanced Fire Retardant Materials to industry. KSC’s scientists have developed processes and know-how to impart fire retardancy to common polymers such as nylons, polyesters, and acrylics. NASA developed this technology for use in personnel protective systems for launch pad personnel engaged in hazardous materials (HAZMAT) operations. The invention provides polymer blends containing polyhydroxyamide and one or more flammable polymers. The polymer blends are flame-retardant and have improved durability and heat stability compared to the flammable polymer portion of the blends.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Polymers, Fire, Protective equipment


Metal/Fiber Laminate and Fabrication Using a Porous Metal/Fiber Preform

This technology can be used in aeronautics, pressure vessels and storage tanks, ballistic protection, automotive structures, and composite doors and windows. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new technique to enable the preparation of metal/composite hybrid laminates, also known as fiber metal laminates (FML), by depositing metal directly onto fabric using a plasma deposition process. FMLs provide a useful combination of structural and functional properties for both aerospace and non-aerospace applications. Currently, FMLs are prepared in a compression process utilizing a press or autoclave with metallic layers (foils) sandwiched between layers of glass or graphite prepreg (preimpregnated fibers with a matrix resin). The NASA process deposits the metal on the fiber via plasma deposition. The porosity of the coated fabric allows for resin infusion.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Composite materials, Fabrics, Metals, Resins


Plastic Bearings Have Staying Power

Plastic bearings are strong enough to outperform and outlast metal in countless applications, however, they are often not considered a viable choice in the engineering community due to the common misconception that plastic is inferior or weaker compared metal. Uncover common misconceptions and learn the true reliability of tribologically-optimized plastic bearings in this whitepaper from the motion plastic experts.

Posted in: White Papers, Materials, Plastics


How the Laser, Optic, & Photonic Industries Benefit from Electropolishing

Improve precision and cleanliness with an enhanced surface finish. Like other industries that utilize electropolishing to finish metal components, there are many benefits associated with electropolishing metal components used in photonics, optics or laser applications.

Posted in: White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Medical, Optics, Photonics


Electropolishing Prepares/Pre-Cleans Parts Properly Prior To Penetrant Testing

It is common, especially in the aerospace industry, for parts that are fracture critical to be Liquid Penetrant Inspected (LPI) prior to installation. Also known as Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI) or simply Penetrant Testing (PT), this method is used to detect micro-cracks or other defects that could serve as an initiation site for failure. In order to properly execute a penetrant test, the surface of a metal part must be thoroughly clean of any debris, smeared metal, or any amorphous layer that may be hiding a hairline crack thus yielding a false reading.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials


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