Materials & Coatings

Compliant Electrode and Composite Materials for Piezoelectric Wind and Mechanical Energy Conversion

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Thin film, piezoelectric materials generate a small voltage whenever they are deformed, suggesting that they are suitable for tapping energy from freely available resources, such as the wind. Yet their low-energy production levels and lack of electrode durability have hampered development. NASA researchers have invented a system, method, and device for improving the performance and increasing the lifespan of small-form-factor, thin-film electrode, piezoelectric devices capable of interacting with the wind to provide power to wearable devices and stretchable electronics.

Posted in: Briefs

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Development of a Novel, Regenerable Microlith Catalytic Reactor for CO2 Reduction via Bosch Process

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama Utilization of CO2 to produce life support consumables, such as water and oxygen, offers a potential advance for NASA’s cabin atmosphere revitalization system and in-situ resources utilization concepts for long-term manned space missions. Toward this goal, the innovators at Precision Combustion, Inc. have investigated the use of catalysts supported on patented short-contact-time Microlith® substrates for CO2 reduction via Bosch process. These catalytic substrates enabled faster reaction rates, higher CO2 conversion, and a reduced recycle penalty. Further improvements in size, volume, and weight are projected by splitting the chemistry of the Bosch process into two separate reactors: a reverse water-gas-shift (RWGS) reactor, and a carbon formation reactor (CFR). Carbon formation would be accomplished via the hydrogenation and/or Boudouard reactions. In this two-stage configuration, the operating conditions can be individually optimized to maximize CO2 conversion as well as the water and carbon production rates. The feasibility study, which included performance testing at various operating conditions, and durability testing were successfully demonstrated.

Posted in: Briefs

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Self-Healing Spacecraft Material Plugs Holes in Seconds

Although shields and sophisticated maneuvers could help protect space structures, scientists have to prepare for the possibility that debris could pierce a vessel. NASA and a team from the University of Michigan developed a new material that heals itself within seconds and could prevent structural penetration from being catastrophic.

Posted in: News, Coatings & Adhesives

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'Snap' Design Mimics Venus Flytrap

A team led by physicist Christian Santangelo at the University of Massachusetts Amherst uses curved creases to give thin shells a fast, programmable snapping motion. The technique – inspired by the natural "snapping systems" like Venus flytrap leaves and hummingbird beaks – avoids the need for complicated materials and fabrication methods when creating structures with fast dynamics.

Posted in: News, Joining & Assembly

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Benefits of Low-Volume Production

Learn how to decrease your time to market as well as reducing risk and cost associated with injection molding. Although low-volume production is typically used at the beginning of the product life cycle, it can also be useful at the end of a products life. In this presentation you will not only learn about plastic injection molding but also liquid silicone rubber, metal and magnesium injection molding. Learn the ins and outs of low volume production and how it can benefit you and your product.

Posted in: Tech Talks, Plastics

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Coming Soon - Nano-Textured Coatings Keep Surfaces Clean

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed two unique coating formulations that will keep surfaces clean and sanitary and contain contaminants.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars, Coatings & Adhesives

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Design For Manufacturability - Advanced Technologies That Aid Engineers In The Transition From Design To Production

In conjunction with SAE The aerospace industry is embracing technological breakthroughs concerning advanced materials and additive manufacturing to maximize manufacturing efficiencies. As a result, engineering’s emphasis has switched from understanding the basics of advanced materials and additive manufacturing to incorporating them into the early stages of designs. This webcast will look at processes and tools being used by engineers throughout the industry to maximize the communication and collaboration skills between design and manufacturing so that better decisions are made early in the development stage, no matter how small the component or how big the aircraft. Webinar attendees will be invited to interact with the experts during an Audience Q&A.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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