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

Adding fluoride to water has been common practice in a number of countries including the U.S. In low concentrations (below 1.5 mg/L), fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Material for Faster Computer Memory

Scientists are studying bismuth ferrite (BFO) material that has the potential to store information much more efficiently than is currently possible. BFO could also be used in sensors, transducers, and other electronics.

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Microrobots that can deliver drugs to specific spots inside the body while being monitored and controlled from outside the body have been developed that also can treat tumors in the...

Briefs: Materials

Researchers have created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water droplets, giving them...

Briefs: Motion Control

Conventional pistons are made of a rigid chamber and a piston inside that can slide along the chamber’s inner wall while at the same time maintaining a tight seal. As a result, the piston...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Smart objects are required to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power. Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that...

Briefs: Materials

When light gets scattered as it passes through a translucent material, the emerging pattern of “speckle” looks as random as static on a television screen with no signal. But it...

Briefs: Materials

Organic semiconductors (OSCs) have emerged as a new class of electronic materials promising a wide range of applications including organic field-effect transistors...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Bioengineers have cleared a major hurdle on the path to 3D-printing replacement organs with a new technique for bioprinting tissues. It allows scientists to create entangled vascular networks...

Briefs: Energy

The color of a material can often tell how it handles heat. With clothing, for example, the darker the pigment, the warmer you're likely to feel on a hot day. Likewise, the more...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Temperature Dielectric Nanocomposite

A nanocomposite was developed that could be a superior high-temperature dielectric material for flexible electronics, energy storage, and electric devices. The nanocomposite combines one-dimensional polymer nanofibers and two-dimensional boron nitride nano-sheets. The nanofibers reinforce the...

Briefs: Materials
Fire-Retardant Coating Uses Renewable, Nontoxic Materials

Researchers developed a new kind of flame-retardant coating using renewable, nontoxic materials readily found in nature. The coating could provide more effective fire protection for several widely used materials. The coatings offer the opportunity to reduce the flammability of...

Briefs: Materials

A new method uses ultraviolet light to control the flow of fluids by encouraging particles — from plastic microbeads, to bacterial spores, to pollutants — to...

Briefs: Materials
Automated Object Detection in an Image

Recent developments in machine vision have demonstrated remarkable improvements in the ability of computers to properly identify objects in a viewing field. Most of these advances rely on color-texture analyses that require target objects to possess one or more highly distinctive, local features that can be...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a new method for making small-diameter, high-grade ball bearings that are less than 0.25” in diameter thanks to the development of a new alloy...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

NASA's Langley Research Center offers a novel lifting and precision positioning device with hybrid functional characteristics of both crane-type lifting devices and robotic manipulators. The design of the...

Briefs: Materials

Researchers have created a fabric that automatically regulates the amount of heat that passes through, depending on conditions; for example, when conditions are warm and moist — such as those of a...

Briefs: Materials

Lithium-air batteries are poised to become the next replacement for currently used lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, cell-phones, and computers....

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs

Polymers are regularly used as thermal insulators and can even be used as thermal conductors to enable efficient heating or cooling. A new type of polymer was created that demonstrates...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Today's lithium-ion batteries use cathodes (one of the two electrodes in a battery) made of a transition metal oxide. Batteries with cathodes made of sulfur are considered a...

Briefs: Energy

Methanol is a key feedstock for the production of chemicals, some of which are used to make products such as plastics, plywood, and paints. Methanol also can fuel vehicles or be reformed to...

Briefs: Communications

Accurately measuring semiconductor properties of materials in small volumes helps engineers determine the range of applications for which these materials may be suitable in the...

Briefs: Energy

Whereas hydrogen fuel cells (e.g., proton exchange membrane (PEM) and other fuel cells) generate electricity from the chemical reaction between pure hydrogen and oxygen, direct carbon fuel cells...

Briefs: Materials

A system was developed that can remove radioactive cesium contamination from porous structures such as brick and concrete that are hard to clean, as well as contamination from...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Researchers have created highly stretchable supercapacitors for powering wearable electronics that consist of crumpled carbon nanotube (CNT) forests. The supercapacitors demonstrated solid performance...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

There is a need for high-volume material testing/qualification but industry and researchers are currently limited by commercially available testing devices. Most wear testers can only handle one...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
3D Printing of Flexible Circuits

A process was developed for 3D printing that can be used to produce transparent and mechanically flexible electronic circuits. The electronics consist of a mesh of silver nanowires that can be printed in suspension and embedded in various flexible and transparent plastics (polymers). This technology can enable...

Briefs: Materials
Multistep Self-Assembly for Reconfigurable Materials

Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure; however, nature lets materials like proteins of varying size and shape assemble, allowing for complex architectures that can handle multiple tasks.

Briefs: Test & Measurement

In the polymer composites industry, cure cycles are typically developed from trial-and-error or a more effective processing science approach to reduce...

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Briefs: Aerospace

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