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
Lightweight Composite-Material Tanks for Cryogenic Liquids

A lightweight composite-material tank suitable for the storage and transport of liquid oxygen and other cryogenic liquids has been developed. The tank includes a metallic liner compatible with liquid oxygen, a graphite/ epoxy overwrap, an insulating layer of lightweight polyurethane...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Formulation and Deposition of Ablative Insulation

The term "Marshall Convergent Coating-1" ("MCC-1") denotes an improved formulation and a concomitantly improved method of spray deposition of a cork-and-glass-filled epoxy ablative thermal-insulation material. MCC-1 has been used on the space shuttle solid rocket booster and on some Air...

Briefs: Materials

Corrosion of iron and steel substrates can be inhibited by coating them with any of the wide variety of compounds denoted generally as polyanilines. A polyaniline suitable for this type...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Coatings for Flexible Insulating Blankets

"ACE" (for "advanced ceramic engineered") denotes a type of coating mate-rial that increases the ability of flexible thermal-insulation blankets to resist erosion. Developed for use on the insulating blankets on the space shuttle orbiters, these coating materials could also be used on similar...

Briefs: Materials

Woven fabrics comprising polybenzoxazole (PBO) fibers blended with other selected fibers have been found to exhibit combinations of properties that, in some applications, may be superior to those...

Briefs: Materials
Development of Progressive-Failure-Analysis Software

A report discusses the development of the GENOA-PFA computer program, which was described in "Software for Simulating Progressive Fracture in Braided PMCs" (LEW-16845), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 3 (March 2000), page 52; and "Update on a Progressive-Failure-Analysis Software System...

Briefs: Materials

A method of fabricating composites of pretreated silicon carbide fibers in silicon carbide matrices provides for the formation of improved boron nitride fiber/matrix interfacial layers....

Briefs: Materials
Carbon-Filled EPDM Rubbers as Ablative Insulating Materials

Carbon-fiber-filled polymers made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) have been found to be useful as ablative thermal-insulation materials. Like the silica-filled EPDM polymers described in the preceding article, these polymers have been investigated as candidates to replace...

Briefs: Materials

Lightweight shields for electromagnetic interference (EMI) can now be fabricated from composites of (1) electrically conductive fibers made of bromine-intercalated graphite in (2) matrices...

Briefs: Materials
Composite-Material Pipes for Corrosive and Cryogenic Liquids

A flexible design concept and an associated method of fabrication have been conceived as means to satisfy growing demands for lightweight composite-material pipes for corrosive and cryogenic liquids. The design concept and method can be applied to produce piping systems capable of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Reactive-Ion Etching of Smooth Vertical Walls in Silicon

An advanced technique of deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE) has been developed for fabricating smooth vertical walls in silicon wafers. These walls are suitable for use as bounding surfaces of optical waveguides in photonic and optoelectronic devices. The roughness of a typical 8-µm-high...

Briefs: Materials
Plasma CVD of Boron Carbide by Pulsed Secondary Discharge

An improved method of plasma chemical-vapor deposition (CVD) of a thin film of boron carbide has been devised. Boron carbide is useful because it is hard, is electrically insulating, withstands high temperature, and resists chemical attack. Plasma CVD of boron carbide involves the thermal...

Briefs: Materials
Nesting-Hoop Solar Sail

A report discusses a proposed nesting-hoop solar sail that would be used to propel a spacecraft on a deep-space mission. The nesting-hoop design concept was chosen as one that would afford a desired combination of small mass and compact stowage during launch. The sail would include multiple disks, each comprising a thin...

Briefs: Materials

A program of research and development is addressing the feasibility of using magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) sources in the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of synthetic diamond films. Because of...

Briefs: Materials
Oxygen Batteries Based on a Solid Polymer Electrolyte

Scientists have developed a derivative of the lithium-ion cell that could prove useful in spaceflight and commercial applications in which it is planned to use oxygen batteries based on solid polymer electrolytes. This derivative cell, which contains a solid polymer electrolyte and an oxygen...

Briefs: Materials

Polyimide-matrix/carbon-fiber composite materials with enhanced thermo-oxidative stability can be made from carbon fibers that have been coated with suitably formulated reactive...

Briefs: Materials
Enhanced Shield Against Meteoroids and Orbital Debris

NASA scientists, who are very concerned with the increasing hazard of impacts of orbital debris impact on spacecraft, have designed the "stuffed Whipple" shield — a lightweight, relatively inexpensive alternative to simple aluminum meteoroid/orbital-debris (M/OD) shield. The stuffed Whipple...

Briefs: Materials

Improved zinc anodes for silver/zinc and nickel/zinc rechargeable electrochemical cells have been invented. This invention will increase the usefulness and decrease cycle-life costs of...

Briefs: Materials
Tape-Spring Reinforcements for Inflatable Structural Tubes

Lightweight, inflatable tubular structural components containing tape-spring reinforcements are undergoing development. The basic (without tape-spring reinforcement) tubular components are made, variously, of aluminum laminates or composite materials and are under consideration for use...

Briefs: Materials
Update on a Progressive-Failure-Analysis Software System

A report presents additional information on the GENOA-PFA computer program, which was described in "Software for Simulating Progressive Fracture in Braided PMCs" (LEW-16845), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 3 (March 2000), page 52. On the basis of material-property data, finite-element...

Briefs: Materials

Ceramics Analysis and Reliability Evaluation of Structures/Creep (CARES/CREEP) is a computer program that predicts the creep lives of ceramic structural components. [CARES/CREEP should not...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Carbon Nanotubes as Anodes in Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Cells

Carbon nanotubes (also known as "bucky tubes") have shown promise for use as anode materials in rechargeable lithium-ion power cells. In comparison with graphite and other forms of carbon used under identical conditions, bucky tubes exhibit greater specific discharge capacity and...

Briefs: Materials

A number of matrix resins that contain thermosetting plasticizers have been developed for use in the resin-transfer molding (RTM) of composite-material (fiber/matrix) parts. These...

Briefs: Materials

Investigators at the Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) have developed specifications of the amounts of alloying elements needed to increase the specific strengths of nickel alloys...

Briefs: Materials
Aerogels With Gradients of Density

Aerogels with gradients in density have been produced in experiments, as part of an effort to develop materials that will be used in outer space to capture particles traveling at high speeds for the STARDUST mission.

Briefs: Materials
Improved Fabrication of YBa2Cu3O7 —x Superconductors

An improved method of manufacturing high-temperature superconductors of general composition YBa2Cu3O7— x and various grain structures has been devised. This method involves mixing, pressing, and heating of Y2O3, CuO, and...

Briefs: Materials

Several materials have shown promise for coating graphite susceptors used in epitaxial growth of 4H-SiC. The development of appropriate susceptor-coating materials is an essential part of...

Briefs: Materials
Priming Ceramic Materials for Better Waterproofing

An improved process for waterproofing ceramic materials — especially lightweight ceramic insulation materials in both rigid (tile) and flexible (blanket) form — has been invented. In this process, traditional waterproofing agents are used, but before the waterproofing agents are applied, the...

Briefs: Materials
Reaction-Forming Method for Joining SiC-Based Parts

Two reports present additional details about the method described in "Reaction-Forming Method for Joining SiC-Based Ceramic Parts" (LEW-16661), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 23, No. 3 (March 1999), page 50. To recapitulate: A carbonaceous mixture (typically a paste) is applied to a joint between...

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