Materials & Coatings

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

Briefs: Materials
Oxide Fiber Cathode Materials for Rechargeable Lithium Cells

LiCoO2 and LiNiO2 fibers have been investigated as alternatives to LiCoO2 and LiNiO2 powders used as lithium-intercalation compounds in cathodes of rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. In making such a cathode, LiCoO2 or...

Briefs: Materials
Electrocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methane

A room-temperature electrocatalytic process that effects the overall chemical reaction CO2 + 2H2O → CH4 + 2O2 has been investigated as a means of removing carbon dioxide from air and restoring oxygen to the air. The process was originally...

Briefs: Materials
Progress Toward Making Epoxy/Carbon-Nanotube Composites

A modicum of progress has been made in an effort to exploit single-walled carbon nanotubes as fibers in epoxy-matrix/fiber composite materials. Two main obstacles to such use of carbon nanotubes are the following: (1) bare nanotubes are not soluble in epoxy resins and so they tend to...

Briefs: Materials

A heterogeneous material construction has been devised for sensing coils of super-conducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometers that are subject to a combination of...

Briefs: Materials
Predicting Properties of Unidirectional-Nanofiber Composites

A theory for predicting mechanical, thermal, electrical, and other properties of unidirectional-nanofiber/matrix composite materials is based on the prior theory of micromechanics of composite materials. In the development of the present theory, the prior theory of micromechanics was...

Briefs: Materials

Improved crucibles consisting mainly of metal-reinforced ceramic ampules have been developed for use in experiments in which material specimens are heated in the crucibles to various high temperatures,...

Briefs: Materials
Adjustable Membrane Mirrors Incorporating G-Elastomers

Lightweight, flexible, large-aperture mirrors of a type being developed for use in outer space have unimorph structures that enable precise adjustment of their surface figures. A mirror of this type includes a reflective membrane layer bonded with an electrostrictive grafted elastomer...

Briefs: Materials
High-Temperature Crystal-Growth Cartridge Tubes Made by VPS

Cartridge tubes for use in a crystal-growth furnace at temperatures as high as 1,600°C have been fabricated by vacuum plasma spraying (VPS). These cartridges consist mainly of an alloy of 60 weight percent molybdenum with 40 weight percent rhenium, made from molybdenum powder coated...

Briefs: Materials
Hall-Effect Thruster Utilizing Bismuth as Propellant

A laboratory-model Hall-effect spacecraft thruster was developed that utilizes bismuth as the propellant. Xenon was used in most prior Hall-effect thrusters. Bismuth is an attractive alternative because it has a larger atomic mass, a larger electron- impact- ionization cross-section, and is...

Briefs: Materials

Applying an electric current to specially coated glass results in radiant heat energy. This process creates a transparent heating element with near- uniform surface temperatures. Manufacturing...

Briefs: Materials
Method of Cross-Linking Aerogels Using a One-Pot Reaction Scheme

A document discusses a new, simplified method for cross-linking silica and other oxide aerogels, with a polymeric material to increase strength of such materials without adversely affecting porosity or low density. The usual process is long and arduous, requiring multiple washing...

Briefs: Materials

Nanocrystalline tin oxide (SnO2) doped with copper oxide (CuO) has been found to be useful as an electrical-resistance sensory material for measuring the concentration...

Briefs: Materials
Coating Reduces Ice Adhesion

The Shuttle Ice Liberation Coating (SILC) has been developed to reduce the adhesion of ice to surfaces on the space shuttle. SILC, when coated on a surface (foam, metal, epoxy primer, polymer surfaces), will reduce the adhesion of ice by as much as 90 percent as compared to the corresponding uncoated surface. This...

Briefs: Materials

This innovation blends the merits of multifoil insulation (MFI) with aerogel-based insulation to develop a highly versatile, ultra-low thermally conductive material called hybrid multifoil aerogel...

Briefs: Nanotechnology

An experiment has shown that when single- walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are grown by chemical vapor deposition in the presence of an electric field of suitable strength, the nanotubes become...

Briefs: Materials

Carpetlike random arrays of metal-coated silicon nanotips have been shown to be effective as antireflection surfaces. Now undergoing development for incorporation into Sun sensors that would provide...

Briefs: Materials

Nano-engineered catalysts, and a method of fabricating them, have been developed in a continuing effort to improve the performances of direct methanol fuel cells as candidate power...

Briefs: Materials

Capillography (from the Latin capillus, “hair”, and the Greek graphein, “to write”) is a recently conceived technique for forming mats of nanofibers into useful patterns. The concept was inspired...

Briefs: Materials

A method of making more-complex molecules from simpler ones has emerged as a by-product of an experimental study in outer-space atom/ surface collision physics. The...

Briefs: Materials

A family of aerogel-matrix composite materials having thermal-stability and mechanical-integrity properties better than those of neat aerogels has been developed. Aerogels are known to be excellent...

Briefs: Materials
Nematic Cells for Digital Light Deflection

Smectic A (SmA) materials can be used in non-mechanical, digital beam deflectors (DBDs) as fillers for passive birefringent prisms based on decoupled pairs of electrically controlled, liquid crystalline polarization rotators, like twisted nematic (TN) cells and passive deflectors. DBDs are used in...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Flexible Structural-Health-Monitoring Sheets

A generic design for a type of flexible structural- health- monitoring sheet with multiple sensor/actuator types and a method of manufacturing such sheets has been developed. A sheet of this type contains an array of sensing and/or actuation elements, associated wires, and any other associated circuit...

Briefs: Materials
Group-III Nitride Field Emitters

Field-emission devices (cold cathodes) having low electron affinities can be fabricated through lattice- mismatched epitaxial growth of nitrides of elements from group III of the periodic table. Field emission of electrons from solid surfaces is typically utilized in vacuum microelectronic devices, including some...

Briefs: Materials
Precipitation-Strengthened, High-Temperature, High-Force Shape Memory Alloys

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are an enabling component in the development of compact, lightweight, durable, high-force actuation systems particularly for use where hydraulics or electrical motors are not practical. However, commercial shape memory alloys based on NiTi are...

Briefs: Materials

A heat-storage module based on a commercial open-cell graphite foam (PocoFoam or equivalent) imbued with lithium nitrate trihydrate (LiNO3•3H2O) has...

Briefs: Materials

Polymer-based composite catholyte structures have been investigated in a continuing effort to increase the charge/ discharge capacities of solid-state lithium thin-film...

Briefs: Materials
Using ALD To Bond CNTs to Substrates and Matrices

Atomic-layer deposition (ALD) has been shown to be effective as a means of coating carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with layers of Al2O3 that form strong bonds between the CNTs and the substrates on which the CNTs are grown. It should also be possible to form strong CNT/ substrate...

Briefs: Materials

Ceramic thermal and environmental barrier coatings (T/EBCs) that contain multiple layers of alternating chemical composition have been developed as improved means of protecting...

Briefs: Materials

A family of polymer/ carbon films has been developed for use as sensory films in electronic noses for detecting SO2 gas at concentrations as low as 1 part per million...

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