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: Electronics & Computers

Pressure sensors play an important role in engine maintenance and monitoring systems by diagnosing problems before they happen. To capture the most accurate data, however, these sensors must be...

Briefs: Materials

For many researchers, graphene is ideal for use in filtration membranes. A single sheet of graphene resembles atomically thin chicken wire, and is composed of carbon atoms joined...

Briefs: Nanotechnology

Existing nanosensor technologies depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit...

Briefs: Materials
Film Blocks Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can harm smartphones, tablets, chips, drones, wearables, aircraft, and human health. EMI is increasing with the explosive proliferation of devices that generate it. A technique was developed to produce relatively low-cost EMI-blocking composite films.

Briefs: Materials

Liquid droplets are used in many applications, from printing ink on paper to creating microcapsules for drug delivery. Inkjet printing is the most common technique used...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

When choosing materials to make something, tradeoffs need to be made among properties such as thickness, stiffness, and weight. A new material called nanocardboard was...

Briefs: Transportation

RTM370 imide resin was developed to address the limitations of conventional imide resins, which are generated from commercially available symmetrical biphenyl...

Briefs: Imaging

Engineers at Duke University have developed a way to extract a sequence of images from light scattered through a mostly opaque material — or even off a wall — from one long...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have designed a superior seal assembly that is durable and highly dependable in extremely harsh environments. This...

Briefs: Energy

A stainless steel alloy — alloy 709 — has potential for elevated-temperature applications such as nuclear reactor structures. It is exceptionally strong and resistant to damage when exposed to...

Briefs: Materials

In biology, there are many examples where light induces movement or change — think of flowers and leaves turning toward sunlight. Magnetic elastomeric composites were developed that move in different...

Briefs: Aerospace

The ability of additive manufacturing to manage small volumes, create complex designs, and fabricate lightweight but strong structures makes it a natural fit for aerospace...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have expanded their growing portfolio of aerogels to include a new optically transparent polyimide aerogel. Aerogels — low-density, highly porous,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A technique was developed that uses a specially adapted 3D printer to build therapeutic biomaterials from multiple materials. The advance could be a step toward on-demand printing of complex...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Material Cools Itself Down Under Extreme Temperatures

A material, inspired by nature, can regulate its own temperature and could be used to treat burns and help space capsules withstand atmospheric forces. The research used a network of multiple microchannels with active flowing fluids (fluidics) as a method and proof-of-concept to...

Briefs: Nanotechnology

Pulsed laser vaporization (PLV) production of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) on traditional Co/Ni catalyst was explored with...

Briefs: Materials
New Material Composition Withstands Extreme Impact and Temperature

A super-strong alloy of copper and tantalum was created that can withstand extreme impact and temperature, providing high strength and good electrical conductivity. The alloy is a model system with structure that can be passed on to other alternative material systems. Materials...

Briefs: Medical

A controllable material was developed that can transform into complex, pre-programmed shapes via light and temperature stimuli, allowing it to morph into a different shape before fully...

Briefs: Materials

For many highly stressed engineering applications like bearings and gears, contaminated steel parts can lead to devastating outcomes such as an emergency shutdown or the end of a mission. Ensuring that these critical...

Briefs: Materials

Infrared motion detectors can cover only a limited amount of space, a person has to be within the detector's line of sight to be detected, and lights can go off when a person remains...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA's Glenn Research Center developed a novel means of articulating the outboard portion of an aircraft wing to create the optimal geometry for given flight conditions. The Spanwise Adaptive Wing (SAW) concept employs...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Egyptian blue, derived from calcium copper silicate, was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty. Previous studies have shown that when Egyptian blue absorbs visible light, it then...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machines can be susceptible to tow-tape defects such as gaps and overlaps. These can reduce strength between 7% and 32%....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Painting of surfaces having numerous facets and/or curved surfaces is a time-consuming process that requires the application of several coats (layers) of paint. Such surfaces are often found on...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

3D printing allows for the efficient manufacture of complex geometries. A very promising method is direct laser writing in which a computer-controlled focused laser beam acts as a pen and produces the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitters (SMARS)

Glenn's revolutionary Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitters (SMARS) device is fabricated from nickel-titanium-halfnium (NiTiHf), nickel-titanium-zirconium compositions, or a combination. These compositions contain a secondary, nanometer-sized precipitate phase that is produced through processes of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Many of today's silicon-based electronic components contain 2D materials such as graphene. Incorporating 2D materials like graphene — which is composed of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms...

Briefs: Materials

Engineers and software developers are seeking to create technology that lets users touch, grasp, and manipulate virtual objects while feeling like they are actually touching something in...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A process has been developed that enables the production of a 2-mm flat camera. The lens is partitioned into 135 tiny facets, similar to the eyes of an insect. The facetVISION camera is...

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