Materials & Coatings

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.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, Materials, Liquid propellants, Spacecraft fuel, Thermal management, Storage, Insulation


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, Materials, Sensors and actuators, Propellants, Chemicals, Test equipment and instrumentation


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, Materials, Forming, Composite materials, Fibers, Nanomaterials, Polymers


Low-Scatter Starshade Edges

This technology has applications in flexible optical masks, apertures, and encoders where sharp edges and material robustness are important.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, Materials, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Spacecraft


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, Automotive, Government, Coatings & Adhesives, Mechanical Components, Motion Control


Design Tips For Using Coatings

When designing parts for coatings, there are some things you’ll want to take into account. Even the most impeccably designed parts sometimes face problems during the coating process. By following a few basic design tips, you can avoid potential issues down the road. Read our white paper to learn more.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Nanotechnology


Processing and Damage Tolerance of Continuous Carbon Fiber Composites Containing Puncture-Self-Healing Thermoplastic Matrix

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The initiation and propagation of damage ultimately results in failure of aircraft structural components. Often, impact damage is difficult to identify in-service, and hence design of continuous carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite structure involves up to a 50% knockdown in the undamaged failure strength allowable. If damage is identified in a composite structure, the vehicle must be grounded for structural repair. This involves the grinding away of damaged regions and drilled holes to secure patches. By providing a polymer matrix with the ability to self-heal after impact damage is incurred, vehicle safety is greatly improved by increasing the design allowable for strength, resulting in more efficient CFRP structure.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Aircraft structures, Composite materials, Fibers, Materials properties, Polymers, Thermoplastics


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