Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes

These multi-functional composite materials have applications in body armor, radiators, chemical sensors, computers, and electronics.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary mechanical and unique electronic properties. CNTs are being studied for applications in high-strength/low-weight composites and other applications. In order to alter the CNT properties for particular applications, chemical functionalization may be necessary. Development of multifunctional composite materials may require functionalization of a collection of CNTs to allow the tubes to be dispersed more easily in a host matrix.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Chemicals, Composite materials, Nanomaterials
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Carbon Fiber and Fiber Metal Laminate Composites Reinforced with Metallic Glass

This new class of composites has applications in aerospace, automotive, sporting goods, military, and defense.

Carbon fiber (CF) and carbon fiber composites have gained widespread use in recent years due to their unique combination of high strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio. To improve their mechanical properties, CF is sometimes used as a laminate, usually with aluminum, to improve the impact and residual strength properties of the CF. By bonding sheets of CF and aluminum, it was noticed that fatigue crack growth rates could be reduced in the laminates, as compared to monolithic sheets of either material. These composites have been referred to as CF metal laminates (CFMLs), and they are generally comprised of thin sheets of metal alloys (not always Al) and plies of fiber (not always carbon fiber) reinforced with polymeric materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Composite materials, Fibers, Glass, Materials properties, Metals
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How Metal 3D Printing is Redefining Part Design

It's one of the basic rules of manufacturing: As part complexity increases, so do machining and assembly costs. But what if there were a different way to produce metal parts — one with fewer limitations than traditional milling, turning, and grinding processes, and able to build complex parts in less time and with little human intervention?

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Additive manufacturing, Machining processes, Metals, Parts
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Get Optical Products to Market Faster Using Modern Virtual Prototyping

Companies developing cutting-edge lasers, optics, and imaging products face significant hurdles getting products to market ahead of competitors. Learn about a new way for optical and mechanical engineers to collaborate that’s changing the way leading companies develop optical products. Learn:

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics
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Design Considerations for Overmolding and Insert Molding

Overmolding is regularly used to manufacture multi-material components for applications in a variety of industries: medical, automotive, electronics, and more. But it’s only recently that it also became a viable and cost-effective prototyping method. This white paper offers a primer on overmolding and insert molding and how these methods can be used for both prototyping and production.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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3D-Printed Soft Robot ‘Walks’ on Any Terrain

Traditional robots often feature isolated mechanical joints. These discrete components limit a rover’s ability to traverse sand, stone, and other challenging environments.

A team at the University of California San Diego has demonstrated a more flexible option: a soft robot that lifts its legs over obstacles and operates on a variety of terrains. The 3D-printed quadrupedal technology may someday support search-and-rescue missions requiring intelligent navigation capabilities.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Automation, Robotics
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What's New on Tech Briefs: Brickmaking on Mars a 'Smashing' Success

With support from Congress and the President, NASA aims to send a manned mission to Mars by 2040. Establishing a human presence on the Red Planet, however, will require permanent shelters.

And lugging a pile of bricks on the nine-month, 35-million-mile trip is out of the question.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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Top 3 Myths of Injection Molding

Rapid injection molding has changed the way product developers and design engineers use manufacturing. No longer is injection molding limited to traditional methods that are time consuming, expensive, and only ideal for larger part quantities. Over the last decade, manufacturing has evolved to allow low volumes of molded parts within days, and do so at a fraction of the traditional tooling cost.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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3D Printing Applications for Medical Education and Training

3D printed multi-material models can replicate the complexity and wide range of patient pathology, making them superior tools for medical education. But how do 3D printed models compare to traditional training methods? In multiple peer reviews, users agree they can be an invaluable asset to training and better prepare practitioners for the clinical realm. The studies evaluated:

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical
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Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

This week’s Question: Today’s lead INSIDER story described a potentially new way of building Mars habitats. What do you think? Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials
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