Materials & Coatings

Resistive Heating Method for TPS Property Measurements

A unique ultrasonic-based technique has been developed to measure temperature profiles in materials used in thermal protection systems (TPS). The technology requires measurements of the thermal expansion coefficient and the ultrasonic velocity for these materials as a function of temperature in order to determine the variation of ultrasonic propagation speed with temperature. Generally, this is done by slowly heating materials to a set temperature so that the samples are isothermal.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Measurements, Materials properties, Thermal testing
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Measuring Bond Site Concentration on the Intrinsic Aerogel Surface Through Chemisorption of Chlorosilanes

This work involves development of aerogel to be used as a passive absorption media — effectively a concentrator of trace organics — that can be detected by optical techniques. Such a trace organic detection scheme is very different from all other current techniques, and has the potential to significantly enhance the sensitivity of detection of volatile species. The aerogel concentrator provides an integrated measurement over long periods of time (months, years), as opposed to mass spectroscopy, which tests at a given moment.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Volatile organic compounds, Chemicals, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation-Resistant Composite (TUFROC)

This technology has potential applications in aircraft, turbine engines, automobiles, and any application requiring thermal protection surfaces.

The Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation-Resistant Composite (TUFROC) allows for much more affordable and sustainable operations involving Space Launch Services and other systems that utilize Earth re-entry vehicles. TUFROC has an exposed surface design and appropriate materials combination that will allow a space vehicle to survive both the mechanical stresses during launch and the extreme heating and stress of re-entry. It provides a thermal protection tile attachment system that is suitable for not only spacecraft applications, but also could be used where there are extreme heating environments [up to 3100 °F for 5 to 10 minutes and 3600 °F, and possibly higher, for very short time intervals (one-minute or less)].

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Thermal management, Composite materials, Corrosion resistant alloys, Entry, descent, and landing, Reusable launch vehicles and shuttles
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Effects of Postcure and Associated Design Allowables for M55J/RS-3C Polycyanate Composite

M55J/RS-3C resin composite structures on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) sunshield will concurrently maintain loads and be exposed to temperature extremes throughout the life of the observatory. Increasing the glass transition temperature (Tg) is intended to decrease the elevated temperature creep of the composite structures (increase dimensional stability). Also, material allowables for RS-3C at temperatures other than ambient had not been previously published at NGAS.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Thermal management, Composite materials, Resins, Spacecraft
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Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

Applications for the strong, flexible material include thermal insulation and lightweight sandwich structures.

John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

NASA-developed polyimide aerogels are 500 times stronger than conventional silica aerogels. The innovative aerogels represent a revolutionary advance over fragile silica aerogels because they are highly flexible and foldable in thin film form. As a thin film, they can be used to insulate industrial pipelines, automotive shields, and temporary housing structures, and can be used within protective clothing such as firefighting jackets, space suits, and parkas. As a thicker part, they can be easily molded to a shape, or sanded and machined to provide insulation as well as mechanical support. No other aerogel possesses the compressive and tensile strength of the NASA innovation while still retaining its ability to be flexibly folded to contour to whatever shape is needed.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Forming, Polymers, Tensile Strength
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Catalytic Oxidation of Organic Contaminants at Reduced Pressure

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

The current technology for catalytic oxidation of aqueous organic contaminants at elevated temperature and pressure works well at operating conditions of 265 °F and 70 psia with effluent TOCs (total organic carbon) of less than 0.5 ppm. However, it does not perform well at the reduced temperature, i.e., sub-water-boiling temperature (200 °F), and the reduced pressure such as ambient pressure (14.7 psia) as indicated by the effluent TOCs approximately the same as feed TOC.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Catalysts, Fluids and secretions, Biohazards
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Approach for Achieving Flame Retardancy While Retaining Physical Properties in a Compatible Polymer Matrix

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Advanced Fire Retardant Materials to industry. KSC’s scientists have developed processes and know-how to impart fire retardancy to common polymers such as nylons, polyesters, and acrylics. NASA developed this technology for use in personnel protective systems for launch pad personnel engaged in hazardous materials (HAZMAT) operations. The invention provides polymer blends containing polyhydroxyamide and one or more flammable polymers. The polymer blends are flame-retardant and have improved durability and heat stability compared to the flammable polymer portion of the blends.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Polymers, Fire, Protective equipment
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Metal/Fiber Laminate and Fabrication Using a Porous Metal/Fiber Preform

This technology can be used in aeronautics, pressure vessels and storage tanks, ballistic protection, automotive structures, and composite doors and windows.

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new technique to enable the preparation of metal/composite hybrid laminates, also known as fiber metal laminates (FML), by depositing metal directly onto fabric using a plasma deposition process. FMLs provide a useful combination of structural and functional properties for both aerospace and non-aerospace applications. Currently, FMLs are prepared in a compression process utilizing a press or autoclave with metallic layers (foils) sandwiched between layers of glass or graphite prepreg (preimpregnated fibers with a matrix resin). The NASA process deposits the metal on the fiber via plasma deposition. The porosity of the coated fabric allows for resin infusion.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Composite materials, Fabrics, Metals, Resins
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Plastic Bearings Have Staying Power

Plastic bearings are strong enough to outperform and outlast metal in countless applications, however, they are often not considered a viable choice in the engineering community due to the common misconception that plastic is inferior or weaker compared metal. Uncover common misconceptions and learn the true reliability of tribologically-optimized plastic bearings in this whitepaper from the motion plastic experts.

Posted in: White Papers, Materials, Plastics
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How the Laser, Optic, & Photonic Industries Benefit from Electropolishing

Improve precision and cleanliness with an enhanced surface finish.

Like other industries that utilize electropolishing to finish metal components, there are many benefits associated with electropolishing metal components used in photonics, optics or laser applications.

Posted in: White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Medical, Optics, Photonics
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