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
Advanced Metal Foam Structures for Outer Space

A document discusses a proposal to use advanced materials — especially bulk metallic glass (BMG) foams — in structural components of spacecraft, lunar habitats, and the like. BMG foams, which are already used on Earth in some consumer products, are superior to conventional metal foams: BMG foams...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Small-Particle Powders for Plasma Spraying

Improved small-particle powders and powder-processing conditions have been developed for use in plasma spray deposition of thermal-barrier and environmentalbarrier coatings. Heretofore, plasmasprayed coatings have typically ranged in thickness from 125 to 1,800 µm. As explained below, the...

Briefs: Materials

Three color-indicating devices have been conceived as simple, rapid, inexpensive means of detecting hazardous liquid and gaseous substances in settings in which safety is of paramount...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Charge-Transfer Fluorescent Dyes

Improved charge- transfer fluorescent dyes have been developed for use as molecular probes. These dyes are based on benzofuran nuclei with attached phenyl groups substituted with, variously, electron donors, electron acceptors, or combi- nations of donors and acceptors. Optionally, these dyes could be...

Briefs: Materials
Making Activated Carbon for Storing Gas

Solid disks of microporous activated carbon, produced by a method that enables optimization of pore structure, have been investigated as means of storing gas (especially hydrogen for use as a fuel) at relatively low pressure through adsorption on pore surfaces. For hydrogen and other gases of practical...

Briefs: Materials

Comparative tests have been performed to evaluate the corrosion-prevention capabilities of an experimental paint of the type described in "Water-Borne,...

Briefs: Materials

A sol-gel process has been developed as a superior alternative to a prior process for making platinum-ruthenium alloy catalysts for electro-oxidation of methanol in fuel cells. The...

Briefs: Materials

Nanotechnology breakthroughs are happening every day. NASA Tech Briefs' Nano 2005 nano engineering conference, November 10-11 at the Marriott Boston Newton, will help you keep pace with the engineering...

Briefs: Materials
Low-Density, Aerogel-Filled Thermal- Insulation Tiles

Aerogel fillings have been investigated in a continuing effort to develop low-density thermal-insulation tiles that, relative to prior such tiles, have greater dimensional stability (especially less shrinkage), equal or lower thermal conductivity, and greater strength and durability. In...

Briefs: Materials

High-performance polymers that have improved processing characteristics, and a method of making them, have been invented. One of the improved characteristics is low (relative to...

Briefs: Materials
Diamond-Coated Carbon Nanotubes for Efficient Field Emission

Field-emission cathodes containing arrays of carbon nanotubes coated with diamond or diamondlike carbon (DLC) are undergoing development. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes have been shown to perform well as electron field emitters. The idea underlying the present development is that by...

Briefs: Materials

Compositions of, and processes for fabricating, high-temperature composite materials from phenylethynyl-terminated imide (PETI) oligomers by resin-transfer molding (RTM) and resin...

Briefs: Materials
Nonflammable, Hydrophobic Aerogel Composites for Insulation

Aerogel composites that are both nonflammable and hydrophobic have been developed for use as lightweight thermal- insulation materials for cryogenic systems. Aerogels are well known in the industry for their effectiveness as thermal insulators under cryogenic conditions, but the...

Briefs: Materials
Advanced Ablative Insulators and Methods of Making Them

Advanced ablative (more specifically, charring) materials that provide temporary protection against high temperatures, and advanced methods of designing and manufacturing insulators based on these materials, are undergoing development. These materials and methods were conceived in an effort...

Briefs: Materials

Two perfluoroalkanesulfonic acids and perfluoroalkanesulfonimides have shown promise as anodecoating materials for improving the performances of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs)....

Briefs: Materials

Polyimides of a recently developed type have an attractive combination of properties, including low solar absorptivity (manifested as low color) when cast into thin films, resistance to...

Briefs: Materials
Anhydrous Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells

Polymeric electrolyte membranes that do not depend on water for conduction of protons are undergoing development for use in fuel cells. Prior polymeric electrolyte fuel-cell membranes (e.g., those that contain perfluorosulfonic acid) depend on water and must be limited to operation below a...

Briefs: Materials
Glass Frit Filters for Collecting Metal

Filter disks made of glass frit have been found to be effective as means of high throughput collection of metal oxide particles, ranging in size from a few to a few hundred nanometers, produced in gas phase condensation reactors. In a typical application, a filter is placed downstream of the reactor and a...

Briefs: Materials
More About Arc-Welding Process for Making Carbon Nanotubes

A report presents additional information about the process reported in "Manufacturing High-Quality Carbon Nanotubes at Lower Cost"; (GSC-14601) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 9 (September 2004), page 62. To recapitulate: High-quality batches of carbon nanotubes are produced at...

Briefs: Materials
Modifications of a Composite-Material Combustion Chamber

Two short reports discuss modifications of a small, lightweight combustion chamber that comprises a carbon/carbon composite outer shell and an iridium/rhenium inner liner. The first report discusses chamber design modifications made as results of hot-fire tests and post-test...

Briefs: Materials
Development of Carbon-Nanotube/Polymer Composites

A report presents a short discussion of one company's effort to develop composites of carbon nanotubes in epoxy and other polymer matrices.

Briefs: Materials
Multicomponent, Rare-Earth-Doped Thermal-Barrier Coatings

Multicomponent, rare-earth-doped, perovskite-type thermal-barrier coating materials have been developed in an effort to obtain lower thermal conductivity, greater phase stability, and greater high-temperature capability, relative to those of the prior thermal-barrier coating material of...

Briefs: Materials

Phenylethynyl containing reactive additive (PERA) compounds and mixtures have been found to be useful for improving the processability of oligomers, polymers, cooligomers, and copolymers...

Briefs: Materials

Multifunctional hinges have been developed for deploying and electrically connecting panels comprising planar arrays of thin-film solar photovoltaic cells. In the original intended...

Briefs: Materials

Special-purpose balloons and other inflatable structures would be constructed as flexible laminates of multiple thin polymeric films interspersed with layers of adhesive, according...

Briefs: Materials

Nanostructured MnO2-based cathodes for Li-ion/polymer electrochemical cells have been investigated in a continuing effort to develop safe, high-energy-density, reliable,...

Briefs: Materials

A method of aligning and assembling single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to fabricate macroscopic structures has been invented. The method entails suspending SWNTs in a fluid,...

Briefs: Materials
Formulating Precursors for Coating Metals and Ceramics

A protocol has been devised for formulating low-vapor-pressure precursors for protective and conversion coatings on metallic and ceramic substrates.

Briefs: Materials
Photocatalytic Coats in Glass Drinking-Water Bottles

According to a proposal, the insides of glass bottles used to store drinking water would be coated with films consisting of or containing TiO2. In the presence of ultraviolet light, these films would help to remove bacteria, viruses, and trace organic contaminants from the water.

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