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

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Chromium Removal from PVC Filters
The process does not cause any structural changes to the PVC filter membrane.
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
Ultra-thin SiC microstructures enable batch fabrication of MEMS, NEMS, pressure sensors, and biosensors.
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Various components are used to assemble robots that are more aware of their surroundings.
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
This plant-based material can be manufactured using water as a solvent instead of other harmful solvents.
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
Briefs : Materials
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Load-bearing structures in cars and airplanes could be manufactured from the metal foam.
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool
Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and the majority live in developing nations. A process was...

Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool
Briefs : Energy
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
These stickers wirelessly beam health readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing.
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
A nanoantenna-enabled detector boosts the usable signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to three times.
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
Briefs : Software
The Planetary Tides Simulation Facility for Simulation Tidal Strain in Planetary Ice Analogs
The Planetary Tides Simulation Facility for Simulation Tidal Strain in Planetary Ice Analogs
Applications include modeling of tidal stress response of icy satellites as well as fatigue of terrestrial ice shelves.
The Planetary Tides Simulation Facility for Simulation Tidal Strain in Planetary Ice Analogs
Briefs : Aerospace
Thin Heat Shield for Superfast Aircraft
Thin Heat Shield for Superfast Aircraft
A carbon nanotube heat shield can better protect extremely fast aircraft.
Thin Heat Shield for Superfast Aircraft
Briefs : Materials
Environmental Barrier Coatings for Ceramic Matrix Composites
Environmental Barrier Coatings for Ceramic Matrix Composites
These barrier coatings protect high-performance components in extreme environments.
Environmental Barrier Coatings for Ceramic Matrix Composites
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Environmentally Friendly Process for Battery Recycling
Environmentally Friendly Process for Battery Recycling
A solvent leaches cobalt and lithium for reuse from spent batteries.
Environmentally Friendly Process for Battery Recycling
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Acoustic Interactions Change Materials at the Atomic Level
Acoustic Interactions Change Materials at the Atomic Level
Interaction of sound and light reveals new information of a crystal's quantum properties.
Acoustic Interactions Change Materials at the Atomic Level
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robotic “Cockroach” Explores Underwater Environments
Robotic “Cockroach” Explores Underwater Environments
This microbot can walk on land, swim, and walk underwater.
Robotic “Cockroach” Explores Underwater Environments
Briefs : Energy
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
These robust materials convert excess heat energy into electricity.
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Breathable Electronic Skin Using Nanofiber Substrate
Breathable Electronic Skin Using Nanofiber Substrate
This electronic skin can track heart rate, respiration, muscle movement, and other health data.
Breathable Electronic Skin Using Nanofiber Substrate
Briefs : Aerospace
Optical Window for Far-IR Instruments Using Thin TOPAS® Film
Optical Window for Far-IR Instruments Using Thin TOPAS® Film
This thin film can be used for ground-based and airborne applications in aircraft, balloons, and other flight missions.
Optical Window for Far-IR Instruments Using Thin TOPAS® Film
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Dynamic Mechanical Strain-Induced Temperature Gradient Coating
Dynamic Mechanical Strain-Induced Temperature Gradient Coating
The non-destructive coating has applications in structural health monitoring, aerospace, automotive, and military/defense.
Dynamic Mechanical Strain-Induced Temperature Gradient Coating
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Magneto-Optic Biosensor Using Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles
Magneto-Optic Biosensor Using Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles
This technology is a novel, rugged, and economic diagnostic and sensor platform technology.
Magneto-Optic Biosensor Using Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
A technology uses a combination of WiFi signals and accelerometer technology to track devices in near-real-time.
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
Briefs : Motion Control
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Researchers have developed a self-contained wheel unit that combines a wheel and an electric motor.
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Briefs : Aerospace
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
This lightweight material brings strength and durability to complex shapes.
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
This hands-on, educational tool highlights the properties of SMA wire.
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
This technology provides simultaneous ohmic contacts and the process to make them.
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
This optical switch controls the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently.
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
Briefs : Imaging
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
This method also reverse-engineers computer chips to detect the chip’s purpose.
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
The nanogenerator also acts as a weather station.
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Question of the Week
Would You Ride in a Flying Car?