Materials & Coatings

Driving Auto Performance Through Lubricant Selection: How Lubricants Can Reduce Component Failures and Extend Vehicle Life

Lubricant selection may be the answer. As automotive environemnts become increasingly extreme, finding a lubricant that can withstand the rising temperatures and harsh conditions over an extended period is critical to optimal vehicle performance.

Posted in: White Papers, Automotive, Materials

Highly Porous and Mechanically Strong Ceramic Oxide Aerogels

These materials provide improved environmental durability and elasticity for aerospace and terrestrial applications.

NASA's Glenn Research Center (GRC) has developed and produced ultra-lightweight polymer cross-linked aerogels (X-Aerogels). These mechanically robust, highly porous, low-density materials are three times denser than native aerogels, but more than 100 times stronger. Aerogels are ultra-lightweight glass foams with extremely small pores (on the order of 10 to 50 nanometers). These materials are extremely good thermal insulators, with R values ranging from 2 to 10 times higher than polymer foams. Unlike multilayer insulation, aerogels do not require a high vacuum to maintain their low thermal conductivity, and can function as good thermal insulators at ambient pressure. In addition, they are good electrical insulators and have low refractive indices, both approaching values close to air. Aerogels are also excellent vibration-damping materials. Traditional aerogels, however, suffer fragility and poor environmental durability.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Ceramics, Conductivity, Foams, Lightweight materials, Materials properties, Polymers

Asymmetric Dielectric Elastomer Composite Material

This material has applications in artificial muscle and hearts, physical therapy/rehab devices, morphing aircraft, robotics, and sensors.

This electronic active material converts a voltage input to a mechanical force and mechanical displacement output. As compared to prior dielectric elastomer (DE) systems, the material has reduced electrode spacing, which lowers significantly the required operating voltage. In addition, the inclusion of a combination of conducting and/or non-conducting reinforcing fibers greatly enhances the strength of the material, without weight penalty.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Voltage regulators, Composite materials, Elastomers, Fibers

Method of Creating Micro-Scale Silver Telluride Grains Covered with Bismuth Nanoparticles

Potential applications include power generation and waste heat recovery, and refrigeration and cooling.

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a novel thermoelectric (TE) material utilizing micro-scale silver telluride grains covered with bismuth nanoparticles. These materials have unique advantages in directly converting any level of thermal energy into electrical power and solid-state cooling by a reverse mode. Although thermoelectric devices are regarded advantageously with their high reliability, their lack of moving parts, and their ability to scale to any sizes, the devices’ energy conversion efficiency remains generally poor.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Electric power, Thermodynamics, Materials properties, Nanomaterials

Polyimides Derived from Novel Asymmetric Benzophenone Dianhydrides

NASA's Glenn Research Center invites companies to license or establish partnerships to develop its patented high-temperature, low-melt imide resins for fabrication of automotive components. Produced by a solvent-free melt process, these resins exhibit high glass transition temperatures (Tg = 370 to 400 °C), low melt viscosities (10 to 30 poise), long pot-life (1 to 2 hours), and can be easily processed by low-cost RTM and vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM). These RTM resins melt at 260 to 280 °C, and can be cured at 340 to 370 °C in 2 hours without releasing any harmful volatile compounds.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Heat resistant materials, Materials properties, Resins

Nanotubular Toughening Inclusions

This technology is used for making stable resin dispersions and composite plastic films, and for standard polymer melt processing.

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an extensive technology portfolio on novel methods for effective dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in polymers. The technology portfolio extends from making stable dispersions of CNTs in polymer resins to processes for making composite CNT/polymer films and articles. The technologies apply to a range of polymer types, enable low or high CNT loadings as needed, and can be used with a variety of standard polymer processing methods, including melt processing. Currently, the technology is being used commercially for electrically conductive polymer films for components in electronic printers and copiers.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Fabrication, Composite materials, Nanomaterials, Polymers

Wear-time Comparison of Three Pressure-sensitive Acrylic Skin Adhesives

This study’s aim was to quantify and understand the adhesive performance of acrylic pressure sensitive skin adhesives when used in a prototypical wearable device worn on the back of the arm.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Bio-Medical, Medical

Conformal Coatings Increase Reliability of Critical Aerospace/Defense Systems and Components

In the aerospace and defense industries, conformal coatings are used to protect components from the increasingly harsh environments in which they must operate. As technologies continue to advance, often becoming smaller and more complex and/or utilizing advanced materials in their design, many surface treatment options struggle to provide reliable protection. This Tech Talk examines Parylene conformal coatings and how they ensure the reliability of critical components when failure is not an option.

Posted in: Tech Talks, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

Will shape memory polymers play a prominent role in non-aerospace applications?

This week's Question: A featured Tech Brief in today's INSIDER highlighted a shape memory polymer from Langley Research Center. Designed initially for morphing spacecraft, the material changes shape when temperature shifts; the thermosetting polymer than returns to its original form once normal conditions are reached. The technology may also have applications in self-deployable structures, smart armors, intelligent medical devices, and other various morphing structures. What do you think? Will shape memory polymers play a prominent role in non-aerospace applications?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Materials

Metal Finishing White Paper: Electropolishing to Improve Corrosion Protection

One of the most common applications for electropolishing is to enhance corrosion resistance on a wide variety of metal alloys, specifically stainless steel. Electropolishing is quickly becoming a replacement process for a long established treatment: Passivation. Passivation is a chemical process that has been used for years to help restore contaminated stainless steel to original corrosion specifications.

Posted in: White Papers, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials

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