Special Coverage

Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applicationst
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
High-Precision Electric Gate for Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometers
Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System
Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine

Aromatic Thermosetting coPolyester (ATSP) Composites for High-Temperature and Cryogenic Applications

This family of polymers has utility in diverse applications ranging from structural composites to circuit boards, wear-resistant coatings, and rigid structural foams. Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama Advanced composite materials processable by cost-effective manufacturing play an important role in developing lightweight structures for future space and planetary exploration missions. With the growing demand for improved performance in the aerospace sector, advances in polymer systems with extreme thermomechanical properties are critical in providing excellent retention of performance in high-temperature environments, and high resistance to microcracking at cryogenic temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Composite materials, Polymers, Lightweighting


Ultralow-Temperature-Operable Solid Propellant Binder

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama A unique binder was developed that exhibits a glass transition temperature of –100 °C, which is more than 50 °C lower than that of traditional HTPB (hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene) and CTPB (carboxyl-terminated polybutadiene) binders. This innovation would be a solid propellant that would ameliorate low-temperature operability problems for the two-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV).

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Cold weather, Solid propellants, Spacecraft fuel


Carbon Nanotube-Assisted Microwave Healing of Thermally Re-Mendable Composites

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas A method creates thermally healable composites using carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotube microwave heating provides a pathway to overcome issues associated with electrical resistive heating networks. Carbon nanotubes embedded within a thermally reversible polymer can be heated by direct exposure to a microwave source. The heat generated by the nanotubes can drive the thermally reversible polymerization of the matrix. Because the microwave source can be focused, the composite can be locally heated at the point of damage thereby reducing the energy requirements for thermal healing. The carbon nanotubes can conform to any shape, allowing the manufacture of complex shapes without concern of damaging the heating network.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Composite materials, Nanotechnology, Radiation


Aluminoborosilicate Supplement for Thermal Protection of a Re-entrant Vehicle

This material can be used in aircraft, turbine engines, automobiles, and any application that requires thermal protection surfaces. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation-Resistant Com posite (TUFROC) allows for much more affordable and sustainable operations involving Space Launch Services and other systems that utilize Earth reentry vehicles. TUFROC has an exposed surface design and appropriate materials combination that will allow a space vehicle to survive both the mechanical stresses of the initial ascent, and the extreme heating and stress of re-entry. It provides a thermal protection tile attachment system that is suitable for application to a space vehicle leading edge, and for other uses in extreme heating environments (up to 3600 °F, and possibly higher, for short time intervals).

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Thermal management, Composite materials, Entry, descent, and landing, Spacecraft


Processing and Manufacture of Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Syntactic Structural Cryogenic Insulator

John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Reducing the cost and weight of launch structures is essential to meeting NASA goals for reliable access to space. Currently, separate systems are used for structure and pressure containment, cryogenic insulation, and high-temperature insulation. One way of reducing this cost and weight is through the development of multifunctional materials that can eliminate parasitic weight. Combining two functional components — structure and insulation — reduces weight and structural complexity, which usually is akin to fragility in the system, and minimizes the need for parasitic thermal protection and insulation systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Composite materials, Insulation, Launch vehicles, Lightweighting


Primer Stops Corrosion Without Requiring Rust Removal

Coating used on launch pads protects bridges, condominiums, and other structures from corrosion.In the mid-1990s, Surtreat Holding LLC, based in Pittsburgh, PA, developed two corrosion inhibitors that worked by chemical means, and were designed to be applied to the surface of concrete, where they would migrate to the steel rebar inside. By 1996, the formulas still had not been formally tested and validated.

Posted in: Articles, Coatings & Adhesives, Air transportation facilities, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Corrosion, Iron


Low Friction Plastic Technology For Single-use Drug Delivery Devices

Start-up coefficient of friction and stick-slip (or “stiction”) elimination are dominant performance drivers in single-use drug delivery devices that have moving parts. RTP Company has completed a rigorous investigation that establishes and defines a new friction test to measure and compare plastic-against-plastic friction behavior that occurs at initial startup. This new test uses forces and speeds that characterize the action of injection pens, auto-injectors, stop cocks, inhalers, safety syringes and other devices. This paper describes the newly created friction test method, and its core data point known as Glide FactorSM, as well a series of tests to compare the friction behavior of select polymers and internal lubricants for use in single-use drug delivery devices. The use of internally lubricated plastics can eliminate costly secondary operations to apply a topical lubricant, reduce the total amount of silicone that reaches the patient via the device, and improve the overall quality of the device. The goal of this paper is to share a tribological database that enables device designers to screen plastic-on-plastic friction pairs to optimize safe and effective material selections.

Posted in: MDB, White Papers, White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Medical


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