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

A novel class of polymer/clay nanocomposites has been invented in an attempt to develop transparent, lightweight, durable materials for a variety of aerospace applications. As their name...

Briefs: Materials
Functionally Graded Nanophase Beryllium/Carbon Composites

Beryllium, beryllium alloys, beryllium carbide, and carbon are the ingredients of a class of nanophase Be/Be2C/C composite materials that can be formulated and functionally graded to suit a variety of applications. In a typical case, such a composite consists of a first layer...

Briefs: Materials

Thermal-insulation blankets of a proposed type would be exceptionally thin and would endure temperatures up to 2,100 °C. These blankets were originally intended to protect...

Briefs: Materials

A temperature- and time-dependent mathematical model predicts the conditions for failure of a material subjected to multiaxial stress. The model was initially applied to a filled epoxy...

Briefs: Materials
Environmentally Safer, Less Toxic Fire-Extinguishing Agents

Fire-extinguishing agents comprising microscopic drops of water micro- encapsulated in flame-retardant polymers have been proposed as effective, less toxic, non-ozone- depleting, non-global- warming alternatives to prior fire-extinguishing agents. Among the prior fire-extinguishing...

Briefs: Materials

Multiterminal carbon-nanotube junctions are under investigation as candidate components of nanoscale electronic devices and circuits. Three-terminal "Y" junctions of carbon...

Briefs: Materials
Scandia-and-Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia for Thermal Barriers

Zirconia stabilized with both scandia and yttria in suitable proportions has shown promise of being a superior thermal-barrier coating (TBC) material, relative to zirconia stabilized with yttria only. More specifically, a range of compositions in the zirconia/scandia/yttria material...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Thermal-Insulation Systems for Low Temperatures

Improved thermal-insulation materials and structures and the techniques for manufacturing them are undergoing development for use in low-temperature applications. Examples of low-temperature equipment for which these thermal insulation systems could provide improved energy efficiency...

Briefs: Materials

A relatively simple silanization process has been developed for waterproofing or rewaterproofing aerogels, xerogels, and aerogel/tile composites, and other, similar low-density, highly microporous...

Briefs: Materials
Oxide Protective Coats for Ir/Re Rocket Combustion Chambers

An improved material system has been developed for rocket engine combustion chambers for burning oxygen/hydrogen mixtures or novel monopropellants, which are highly oxidizing at operating temperatures. The baseline for developing the improved material system is a prior iridium/rhenium...

Briefs: Materials
Burn-Resistant, Strong Metal-Matrix Composites

Ceramic particulate fillers increase the specific strengths and burn resistances of metals: This is the conclusion drawn by researchers at Johnson Space Center's White Sands Test Facility. The researchers had theorized that the inclusion of ceramic particles in metal tools and other metal objects...

Briefs: Materials

An experimental investigation has shown that by (1) vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) of suitable refractory metal alloys on graphite mandrels, and then (2) heat-treating the VPS alloy...

Briefs: Materials
Antistatic Polycarbonate/Copper Oxide Composite

A composite material consisting of polycarbonate filled with copper oxide has been found to be suitable as an antistatic material. This material was developed to satisfy a requirement for an antistatic material that has a mass density less than that of aluminum and that exhibits an acceptably low...

Briefs: Materials
Stable, Thermally Conductive Fillers for Bolted Joints

A commercial structural epoxy [Super Koropon (or equivalent)] has been found to be a suitable filler material for bolted joints that are required to have large thermal conductances. The contact area of such a joint can be less than 1 percent of the apparent joint area, the exact value...

Briefs: Materials
Shields for Enhanced Protection Against High-Speed Debris

A report describes improvements over the conventional Whipple shield (two thin, spaced aluminum walls) for protecting spacecraft against high-speed impacts of orbiting debris. The debris in question arises mainly from breakup of older spacecraft. The improved shields include exterior...

Briefs: Materials

"COR-RA" (colorless atomic oxygen resistant — radiation shield) is the name of a transparent polymeric material filled with x-ray-absorbing salts of lead, bismuth, cesium, and...

Briefs: Materials

An improved, lightweight design has been proposed for super-pressure balloons used to carry scientific instruments at high altitudes in the atmosphere of Earth for times as long as 100 days. [A...

Briefs: Materials

Liquid/vapor-phase corrosion inhibitors (LVCIs) have been found to be additionally useful as penetrant dyes for neutron radiography (and perhaps also x-radiography). Enhancement of...

Briefs: Materials

An explicit material model that uses predicted pressure in the pores of a carbon-cloth phenolic (CCP) composite has been developed. This model is intended to be used within a...

Briefs: Materials
Treatment To Destroy Chloro-hydrocarbon Liquids in the Ground

A relatively simple chemical treatment that involves the use of emulsified iron has been found to be effective in remediating groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene and other dense chlorohydrocarbon liquids. These liquids are members of the class of dense, non-aqueous phase...

Briefs: Materials
Process for Smoothing an Si Substrate After Etching of SiO₂

A reactive-ion etching (RIE) process for smoothing a silicon substrate has been devised. The process is especially useful for smoothing those silicon areas that have been exposed by etching a pattern of holes in a layer of silicon dioxide that covers the substrate. Applications in...

Briefs: Materials
Flexible Composite-Material Pressure Vessel

A proposed lightweight pressure vessel would be made of a composite of high-tenacity continuous fibers and a flexible matrix material. The flexibility of this pressure vessel would render it (1) compactly stowable for transport and (2) more able to withstand impacts, relative to lightweight pressure...

Briefs: Materials
Lower-Conductivity Thermal-Barrier Coatings

Thermal-barrier coatings (TBCs) that have both initial and post-exposure thermal conductivities lower than those of yttria-stabilized zirconia TBCs have been developed. TBCs are thin ceramic layers, generally applied by plasma spraying or physical vapor deposition, that are used to insulate air-cooled...

Briefs: Materials

Experiments have shown that superlattices that comprise alternating epitaxial layers of dissimilar paraelectric perovskites can exhibit large changes in permittivity with the application...

Briefs: Materials

Over the last 40 years, a series of misconceptions regarding mica capacitor applications has led novice users to consistently over- derate wound...

Briefs: Materials
Annealing Would Improve β" — Alumina Solid Electrolyte

A pre-operational annealing process is under investigation as a potential means of preventing a sudden reduction of ionic conductivity in a β"—alumina solid electrolyte (BASE) during use. On the basis of tests described below, the sudden reduction of ionic conductivity, followed by a...

Briefs: Materials
Low-Power RIE of SiO₂ in CHF₃ To Obtain Steep Sidewalls

A reactive-ion etching (RIE) process has been developed to enable the formation of holes with steep sidewalls in a layer of silicon dioxide that covers a silicon substrate. The holes in question are through the thickness of the SiO2 and are used to define silicon substrate...

Briefs: Materials
Process for Encapsulating Protein Crystals

A process for growing protein crystals encapsulated within membranes has been invented. This process begins with the encapsulation of a nearly saturated aqueous protein solution inside semipermeable membranes to form microcapsules. The encapsulation is effected by use of special formulations of a...

Briefs: Materials
Mixed Conducting Electrodes for Better AMTEC Cells

Electrode materials that exhibit mixed conductivity (that is, both electronic and ionic conductivity) have been investigated in a continuing effort to improve the performance of the alkali metal thermal-to-electric converter (AMTEC). These electrode materials are intended primarily for use on...

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