Tech Briefs

Materials & Manufacturing

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on materials and manufacturing, from engineering experts at NASA and government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Latest Tech Briefs

A flexible, free-standing THz sensor array images blind ends of irregularly shaped objects.
Northwestern researchers have developed a new microscopy method that allows scientists to see the building blocks of “smart” materials being formed at the nanoscale.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
RFID-Based Rotary Position Sensor

Innovators have developed an RFID-based system for sensing the angular position of rotating systems. The RFID-Based Rotary Position Sensor can be used as a position/orientation sensor or implemented in a...

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center developed designs for two micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) motion and position sensors: a single-axis accelerometer and a gyroscope....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Oxide Dispersion Strengthened Medium Entropy Alloy
This additively manufactured alloy is tailored for high-temperature applications.
The thruster provides a low-cost, extremely efficient propulsion source for miniature satellites.
This could reduce the environmental impact of styrene manufacturing.
Flea-sized, hollow blocks can be filled with materials that improve healing.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Extreme Low-Frequency Hydrophone
Applications include monitoring of earthquakes and tsunamis as well as manmade infrasonic sources such as boats.
A new method could jump-start the creation of tiny medical devices for the body.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cord Tension Measurement Device
Potential applications include parachutes, hot air balloons, weather balloons, blimps, sails, and parasails.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rapid 3D Printing of Biomedical Parts
The structures’ small size and porosity make them well-suited for building components such as replacement joints.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2D Materials Capable of Forming Complex 3D Shapes
Synthetic materials can mimic how living organisms expand and contract soft tissues, achieving complex 3D movements and functions.
The cathodes could enhance energy density of next-generation Li-ion batteries.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Carbon-Based Air Quality Sensor
This affordable, scalable sensor could be a vital tool in the fight against air pollution and its associated health risks.
The paper-like material could be useful in soft robots, sensors, artificial muscles, and electric generators.
Briefs: Materials
Turning Diamond into Metal
Normally an insulator, diamond becomes a metallic conductor when subjected to large strain.
This method increases burn rate of solid propellants.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Smart Aerogel Turns Air into Drinking Water
This invention achieves sustainable freshwater production in a variety of climates at minimal energy cost.
Bioinspired cellulose nanofibrils can be controlled by electricity.
This technology provides highly efficient grid-scale electricity storage at a fifth of the cost of current storage technologies.
The alloy could influence the way energy storage devices are designed and manufactured.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Resolution Multi-Spectral Camera
The intelligent camera features all three resolutions: spatial, temporal, and spectral.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Smartphone-Based Diabetes Detector
This technology could be a low-cost, in-home alternative to blood draws and clinic-based screening tools.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Building Big Data from Little Data
Edge computing, focused applications, and open connectivity let designers start with little data on their digital transformation journey.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Cost Strengthened Glass Substrates
These glass substrates can be used for displays on smartphones and tablets and for other durable, impact-resistant applications.
Briefs: Medical
Ultrasonic Projector
A chip-based technology generates sound profiles with high resolution and intensity to make ultrasound therapy more effective and easier.
Assembling tiny chips into unique programmable surfaces dramatically increases the amount of data wireless systems can transmit.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Materials Capable of Self-Propulsion
Shape and environment can cause materials to move without motors or hands.