Self-Healing, Self-Lubricating Tribofilm

Tribologists have developed a diamond-like film that is generated by the heat and pressure of an automotive engine. The ultra-durable, self-lubricating tribofilm — a film that forms between moving surfaces — can be made to develop self-healing, diamondlike carbon (DLC) tribofilms. The film generates itself by breaking down the molecules of the lubricating oil, and can regenerate the tribofilm as it is worn away.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
Read More >>

Functionally Graded Metal-Metal Composite Structures

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a functionally graded metal-metal composite structure. The structure is created using a method that avoids deleterious reactions between the different metal constituents, as would be observed via conventional melt processing. The results are unique alloy compositions and arrangements not typically available through conventional processing routes.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
Read More >>

Robotic Rubber ‘Skin’ Senses Temperatures. What’s Next?

A rubber “skin” developed at the University of Houston allows a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold temperatures. The semiconductor material supports new applications in stretchable electronics, including medical implants, health monitors, and human-machine interfaces.

Posted in: News, Materials, Automation, Robotics, Semiconductors & ICs
Read More >>

Will we drive on piezoelectric highways?

Today's lead INSIDER story showcased efforts from Lancaster University to create road-ready piezoelectric tiles. The electricity generated from the ceramics (and the vehicles driving over them) could someday be used to power street lamps and traffic lights.

What do you think? Will we drive on piezoelectric highways?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Ceramics, Materials
Read More >>

A Piezoelectric Highway? Engineers Take Another Test Drive

Researchers from Lancaster University are looking to pave the next generation of smart road surfaces — with piezoelectric ceramics. When embedded in road surfaces, the tiles convert vehicle vibration into electrical energy.

Posted in: News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Thermoelectrics, Ceramics, Materials
Read More >>

Electropolishing: Providing Solutions for Your Common Metal Finishing Problems

You may have heard of the term electropolishing but most likely don’t know how useful this reverse plating process can be. Regardless of the industry, manufacturers are faced with finish specifications that are becoming increasingly demanding. As a result, there is a need for secondary finishing processes that are both cost effective and reliable.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Metals
Read More >>

3D Printing Buyers Guide

3D printing has become a powerful force in today’s manufacturing industry from prototyping to end-use production. Many businesses struggle to find the right additive manufacturing solutions that suit their needs and provide return on investment (ROI). Selecting the right platform to prevent manufacturing roadblocks is vital to optimizing your manufacturing line productivity.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Automation, Robotics
Read More >>

Learning to Crawl: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm

A new mechanical innovation unfolded this month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a team of engineers built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes inspiration from two unconventional sources: origami and the earthworm.

Posted in: News, Materials, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Robotics
Read More >>

Do you see valuable applications for 3D-printed Kapton?

Our lead INSIDER story today showcased a new Kapton-like material, developed by a team at Virginia Tech. The researchers hope that the 3D-printed polymer will support new applications, including deep space exploration.

"We're only used to designing a product and then wrapping it in this foil," engineer Chris Williams told Tech Briefs. "The fun part now is to actually show this to a designer and get them to start dreaming about what is possible."

What do you think? Do you see valuable applications for 3D-printed Kapton?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
Read More >>

Researchers Print the Unprintable: Kapton

Kapton, a material used in electronics and aerospace applications, has only been available in sheet form. Researchers from Virginia Tech have found a way to 3D-print a polymer with Kapton's structural characteristics.

Posted in: News, News, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.