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
Properties of Cubic Boron Nitride Films

A report describes an experimental study of the surface-chemical, microstructural, and tribological properties of cubic boron nitride (c-BN) films, which are potentially useful as hard, wear-resistant coatings on bearings and on steel-cutting tools. For the experiments, BN films about 500 nm thick were...

Briefs: Materials
Polymeric Composite Damage Protective Overwraps for Composite Pressure Vessels

Damage-tolerant polymeric composite overwraps have been proposed for lightweight pressure vessels that are made of composites of graphite fibers in polymeric matrices. Graphite-fiber/polymer composites are vulnerable to impact damage; overwraps on the pressure...

Briefs: Materials

Continuing efforts to develop lightweight, flexible thermal-insulation blankets that withstand high temperatures have led to design and fabrication concepts that effect the following...

Briefs: Materials

An improved method of fabricating membrane electrode structures for methanol fuel cells is similar to the method described in the preceding article, except that in this method, the...

Briefs: Materials

Electric arcs and electrochemical etching can be used to impart microscopic textures to surfaces of metals. In electric-arc texturing, one strikes an arc between a water-cooled...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Doping with silver bromide has been found to be an effective technique for enhancing the optical homogeneity and other qualities of single crystals of lead bromide. These crystals are grown...

Briefs: Materials

A method of fabricating membrane electrode structures for methanol fuel cells involves, among other things, the use of improved sprayers to deposit inks containing catalytic metals...

Briefs: Materials

Polyimides have been used widely in fiber-reinforced composite materials for aerospace components and in thin films for packaging of electronic circuitry. Typically, the synthesis of a...

Briefs: Materials

A process that involves reaction bonding makes it possible to form strong joints, with tailorable thicknesses and compositions, between high-temperature-resistant structural parts...

Briefs: Materials
Diffusing Hf and Si Into Aluminide Bond Coats for TBCs

A process for making superior diffusion platinum-aluminide bond coats for plasma-sprayed or physical-vapor-deposited thermal-barrier coats (TBCs) on superalloy substrates has been devised. The novel aspect of the process lies in the use of several relatively inexpensive pack diffusion steps...

Briefs: Materials

An improved method of synthesis of crystalline tin monoxide (SnO) powder for use in anodes of lithium-ion electrochemical power cells has been developed. The carbon used in anodes...

Briefs: Materials

Zn4Sb3 has been identified as a high-performance thermoelectric material. In p-type, Zn4Sb3 samples have exhibited the greatest dimensionless...

Briefs: Materials
Cold Hibernated Elastic Memory (CHEM) Expandable Structures

Experiments have confirmed the feasibility of a new class of lightweight, reliable, simple, and low-cost expandable structures. The concept called "cold hibernated elastic memory" (CHEM) utilizes the shape memory polymers (SMPs) in open cellular structures. Basically, these structures...

Briefs: Materials

Materials based on β-Zn4Sb3have been found to exhibit unusually high values of the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit at temperatures between 200...

Briefs: Materials
Nonchromic Acid Brightener for Brass and Copper

A process for precleaning brass and copper parts before processing them further in a clean room includes a brightening chemical treatment in solution of 85 volume percent phosphoric acid, 3 volume percent nitric acid, and 12 volume percent acetic acid. This solution acts rapidly and can be...

Briefs: Materials

A prototype Stirling-engine regenerator containing a matrix made of carbon-fiber-based composite materials has been developed. The concept underlying this development effort is one of...

Briefs: Materials

An alloy of 88Cu/8Cr/4Nb (numbers indicate atomic percentages) has been proposed for use in fabricating rocket-engine combustion chambers by vacuum plasma spraying (VPS). Relative...

Briefs: Materials
Etching Solution for Removal of Silver Plating From Polymers

An etching solution has been developed for use in removal of silver plating from polymer-based (including composite-material) structural components, the surfaces of which are intended to serve as mirrors and waveguide structures. Such structures are often plated with aluminum, copper,...

Briefs: Materials

The anode separators in rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells that contain carbon lithium-intercalating anodes with copper current collectors would be modified, according to...

Briefs: Materials

More accurate analyses of adhesive EA946 can now be accomplished using new mathematical models. Tests involving this adhesive (used in the space shuttle's reusable solid-rocket-motor nozzle and other...

Briefs: Materials

A microwave-heating technique has been developed for making a braze joint (1) between a tungsten carbide support and a surface layer of polycrystalline diamond or, alternatively,...

Briefs: Materials

Chemiresistors containing poly(aromatic amine) films have been invented to satisfy a need for simple, inexpensive sensors for real-time measurement of parts-per-million and possibly...

Briefs: Materials

Several modifications of the basic design of carbon lithium-intercalating anodes with copper current collectors in rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells have been proposed. These...

Briefs: Materials
Progress in Texturing by Use of Monatomic Oxygen

A report presents findings from recent research on the use of monatomic oxygen to form microscopic textures on the surfaces of polymers and extends the concept to some forms of carbon. Earlier developments in this field were described in two articles in NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 20, No. 11 (November...

Briefs: Materials

A new process and equipment have been developed for reducing the emissions of hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx), and eliminating a hazardous waste stream. In this process, a...

Briefs: Materials

A rapid densification technology uses nanostructured powders to produce ceramic devices and components. This technology provides ceramic monoliths and composites that can be used in the...

Briefs: Materials

Carbon-based materials containing, variously, metals and metal oxides can be synthesized according to a method that involves reactions of metal chlorides with materials of general...

Briefs: Materials

MoSi2-based composite materials are among the advanced materials undergoing development as potential strong, stiff, lightweight replacements for the nickel-based superalloys...

Briefs: Materials

Experiments have shown that improved hydride-forming negative electrodes for rechargeable nickel/metal hydride (Ni/MH) electrochemical cells can be made by substituting Ge for...

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