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

The Environmental Protection Agency has listed trinitrotoluene (TNT) as a possible carcinogen, and exposure to the material has been linked to disorders of the blood, such as anemia, and abnormal liver function,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Faster, More Efficient Information Processing

For decades, computer chips have been shrinking thanks to a steady stream of technological improvements in processing density. Experts have, however, been warning that we'll soon reach the end of the trend known as Moore's Law, in which the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits...

Briefs: Materials

Extremely fine porous structures with tiny holes — resembling a kind of sponge at the nano level — can be generated in semiconductors. A method was developed for the controlled manufacture...

Briefs: Communications

When it comes to the “smell test,” the nose isn't always the best judge of food quality. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, scientists...

Briefs: Energy

A next-generation X-ray beamline now operating at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) brings together a unique set of capabilities to measure the...

Briefs: Energy

The ability to measure the electronic conductivity of battery film coatings is a pressing need in the battery industry; however, these measurements can...

Briefs: Materials

The unique capabilities of soft robots are to bend, deform, stretch, twist, or squeeze in all the ways that conventional rigid robots cannot. Today, it is easy to envision a world in...

Briefs: Materials

In the early years of manned flight, wing warping was used for lateral control of an aircraft. This technique consisted of a system of pulleys and cables used to twist the trailing edges of the wings in...

Briefs: Motion Control

Resistance welding with direct current (DC) using inverter technology reduces costs by improving quality, reducing maintenance, and increasing productivity. Switching from...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Marine-grade stainless steel is valued for its performance under corrosive environments, and for its high ductility — the ability to bend without breaking under stress. But conventional...

Briefs: Materials

When Navy SEALs carry out dives in Arctic waters, or when rescue teams are diving under ice-covered rivers or ponds, the survival time even in the best wetsuits is very limited — as...

Briefs: Materials
Thermally Conductive Crystals Dissipate Electronics Heat

The inner workings of high-power electronic devices must remain cool to operate reliably. High internal temperatures can make programs run slower, freeze, or shut down. To address this issue, researchers have optimized the crystal-growing process of boron arsenide — a material that has...

Briefs: Materials
Simulation Technique Models Material-Aging Process

The nation's aging infrastructure requires massive investment. Imagine if engineers could build structures with materials that do not degrade over time. A simulation technique was developed that could help engineers do just that.

Briefs: Materials
Ultra-Low Power Consumption for Data Recording

New phase change material was developed that has electrical characteristics that behave differently than those of conventional materials. This new material provides a drastic reduction in power consumption for data recording in nonvolatile random access memory (RAM).

Briefs: Energy

Lithium-metal batteries — which can hold up to ten times more charge than lithium-ion batteries — haven't been commercialized because of a fatal flaw: as the batteries charge and...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Silver nanowires have drawn significant interest in recent years for use in many applications ranging from prosthetic devices to wearable health sensors due to their flexibility,...

Briefs: Aerospace
Modification of SURFICE Code

As part of the continued thermal support for the Space Launch System (SLS) program, MSFC is constantly developing or modifying software tools to aid in analytical efforts to solve thermal issues and problems posed by the project. In some cases, existing software used by previous heritage programs provides an...

Briefs: Medical

An effective, non-invasive way of monitoring blood glucose could help both diabetics and those at risk of developing diabetes make the right choices to either manage the disease well, or reduce their...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Researchers have observed waves of atomic rearrangements, known as phasons, propagating supersonically through a vibrating crystal lattice — a discovery that may dramatically...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Hardface Coating Systems for Wear and Corrosion Resistance

Metal alloys, such as titanium alloys and steels, are known to have a good combination of mechanical properties for many structural applications, but these metal alloys do not meet the wear and corrosion resistance requirements for some structural applications. Titanium alloys, for...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

An increase in computing performance has been achieved by squeezing ever more transistors into a tighter space on microchips. This downsizing has also meant packing the wiring within...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A method was developed for printing 3D structures composed entirely of liquids. Using a modified 3D printer, threads of water were injected into silicone oil, sculpting tubes made of one liquid within...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Linear Resonators Make Electronics More Resistant to Damage and Defects

Mobile phones, tablets, and other portable devices are prone to failure caused by small defects in their complex electronics that can result from regular use. An innovation provides robust protection against circuitry damage that affects signal transmission.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Adhesives used for common pain-relieving bandages often do not stick properly when attached to places that encounter large, inhomogenous bending motion, like elbows and knees. To...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Spintronic devices promise to solve major problems in today's computers, which use massive amounts of electricity to generate heat. This requires expending even more energy for cooling. By contrast, spintronic...

Briefs: Materials
Water-Repellent Nanotextures Possess Anti-Fogging Capability

Some insect bodies have evolved the ability to repel water and oil, adhere to different surfaces, and eliminate light reflections. Scientists have been studying the physical mechanisms underlying these properties found in nature and mimicking them to design materials for use in...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a numerically controlled grinding tool that eliminates undesirable periodic variations in surface contours in optical and other surfaces — such as mid-spatial...

Briefs: Energy

A new chemical composite could be used to store heat from the Sun during the day in a thermal battery, and release the heat when needed. A common approach to thermal storage is to use...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Liquid metal printing is integral to the flexible electronics field. Additive manufacturing enables fast fabrication of intricate designs and circuitry. The field features...

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