Materials & Coatings

Products of Tomorrow: January 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Techs for License, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Sensors

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Low Viscosity, Two Component Epoxy

Master Bond EP112LS is a two-part epoxy that is well suited for impregnation, potting, encapsulation, sealing and coating applications, particularly in the aerospace and optoelectronics industries. EP112LS is optically clear, features reliable non-yellowing properties and has a refractive index of 1.55. This electrically insulative system is resistant to chemicals including water, oils, fuels, acids and bases. EP112LS is serviceable over the temperature range of -60°F to +450°F.

Posted in: Products, Products, Coatings & Adhesives, Photonics

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Laser Optics Coatings

Coated laser optics are used to optimize the characteristics of the emitted laser beam. However, losses are produced at each glass surface - thus the number of optics should be reduced to a minimum. Laser Components (Hudson, NH) offers laser optics that have complex coatings on both the front and the back. From a technical standpoint, this was almost impossible to achieve for a long time because the coating process on the second side heated the first coating and often caused it to crack. The more complex the coating, the more pronounced the problem was.

Posted in: Products, Products, Coatings & Adhesives, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics

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Heat-Conducting Plastic Blend Developed

The spaghetti-like internal structure of most plastics makes it hard for them to cast away heat, but a University of Michigan (U-M) research team has made a plastic blend that does so 10 times better than its conventional counterparts. Because plastics restrict the flow of heat, their use is limited in technologies like computers, smartphones, cars, or airplanes — places that could benefit from their properties, but where heat dissipation is important.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront, Plastics

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Low-Weight, Durable, Low-Cost Metal Rubber Sensor System for Ultra-Long-Duration Scientific Balloons

Sensors integrated onto load-bearing seams measure axial loads in the most extreme environmental conditions. Large axial load forces and extreme temperature ranges are typical for scientific balloon missions. Therefore, a durable, flexible, and thermally stable sensor material is needed. In this innovation, sensors have been designed to be integrated onto the load-bearing seams and/or outer balloon mesh polyethylene surface of the pressurized balloon system to measure accurately and continually axial loads under extreme environmental conditions for extended intervals (i.e. more than 100 days).

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Sensors

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High-Performance Polyimide Powder Coatings

Applications include bridges, pipes, machinery, exposed metal parts and structures, and automobile components. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Powder coatings are used throughout industry to paint a myriad of metallic objects. This method of coating has gained popularity because of its conservation of materials and elimination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Resins used in powder coatings are traditionally chosen from those that have low melting points (polyesters, acrylics, urethanes, epoxies, etc.). These resins are used because they can melt and flow into a smooth coating before curing to a durable surface. High-performance resins such as Teflon, nylon, and polyimide have not found use in powder coatings because of their high melting points.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

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Selective Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas This invention is a process by which carbon nanotubes can be chemically functionalized according to their precise electronic structure. The process involves an exploitation of charge transfer stability at the nanotube sidewall to direct selective reaction of certain electronic structures over others. This process forms the basis for manipulating and separating carbon nanotubes by their electronic structure by chemical means.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, Materials

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