Materials

Multi-scale CNT-Based Reinforcing Polymer Matrix Composites for Lightweight Structures

Applications include commercial aircraft, sports equipment, and automobiles. Reinforcing critical areas in carbon polymer matrix composites (PMCs), also known as fiber reinforced composites (FRCs), is advantageous for structural durability. Since carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have extremely high tensile strength, they can be used as a functional additive to enhance the mechanical properties of FRCs. However, CNTs are not readily dispersible in the polymer matrix, which leads to lower than theoretically predicted improvement in mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of CNT composites. The inability to align CNTs in a polymer matrix is also a known issue. The feasibility of incorporating aligned CNTs into an FRC was demonstrated using a novel, yet commercially viable nanofiber approach, termed NRMs (nanofiberreinforcing mats). The NRM concept of reinforcement allows for a convenient and safe means of incorporating CNTs into FRC structural components specifically where they are needed during the fabrication process.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

Read More >>

Pt-Ni and Pt-Co Catalyst Synthesis Route for Fuel Cell Applications

The main objective is to increase the overall efficiencies of fuel cell systems to support power for manned lunar bases. Oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) at the cathode are the rate-limiting step in fuel cell performance. The ORR is 100 times slower than the corresponding hydrogen oxidation at the anode. Speeding up the reaction at the cathode will improve fuel cell efficiency.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

Read More >>

Aerogel-Based Multilayer Insulation With Micrometeoroid Protection

The aerogel’s hydrophobic nature ensures thermal performance when exposed to the environment. Ultra-low-density, highly hydrophobic, fiber-reinforced aerogel material integrated with MLI (aluminized Mylar reflectors and B4A Dacron separators) offers a highly effective insulation package by providing unsurpassed thermal performance and significant robustness, delivering substantial MMOD protection via the addition of a novel, durable, external aerogel layer. The hydrophobic nature of the aerogel is an important property for maintaining thermal performance if the material is exposed to the environment (i.e. rain, snow, etc.) during ground installations.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

Read More >>

New Material Enables Improved Ultrasound

Ultrasound technology could soon be improved to produce high-quality, high-resolution images, thanks to the development of a new key material by a team of researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Imaging & Diagnostics, Optics/Photonics, Imaging, Optics, Materials, Metals, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, Nanotechnology, Briefs, MDB

Read More >>

Self-Healing Nanocomposites for Reusable Composite Cryotanks

Applications for COPVs include storage of natural gas and liquid hydrogen fuel in vehicles, and marine transport of propane via tanker ships. Composite cryotanks, or composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), offer advantages over currently used aluminum- lithium cryotanks, particularly with respect to weight savings. Future NASA missions are expected to use COPVs in spaceflight propellant tanks to store fuels, oxidizers, and other liquids for launch and space exploration vehicles. However, reliability, reparability, and reusability of the COPVs are still being addressed, especially in cryogenic temperature applications; this has limited the adoption of COPVs in reusable vehicle designs.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

Read More >>

Ceramic Adhesive and Methods for On-Orbit Repair of Re-Entry Vehicles

Material can be applied in space to repair damage that requires heat/oxidation protection upon re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere. This adhesive is capable of repairing damaged leading edge components of re-entry vehicles while in space, and is novel with regard to its ability to be applied in the vacuum of space, and in a microgravity environment. Once applied, the adhesive provides thermal and oxidation protection to the substrate (in this case, reinforced carbon/carbon composites, RCCs) during re-entry of a space vehicle. Although there may be many formulations for repair adhesives, at the time of this reporting, this is the first known adhesive capable of an onorbit repair.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

Read More >>

Lubricant Selection: What Every Design Engineer Needs to Know

Simply stated, lubrication refers to the age-old science of friction reduction. People have been using lubricants for thousands of years, experimenting with waxes and oils from vegetables, fish, and animals to move heavy materials with equipment designed to gain mechanical advantage. In more recent years, the discovery of petroleum oil in the 1800s ushered in a new era of lubrication developments as people learned how to refine this oil and use it for a variety of purposes. Machinery could now be developed to operate faster and under heavier loads by using lubricants to create a barrier that eliminates friction and metalon- metal contact.

Posted in: Materials, White Papers

Read More >>