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: Test & Measurement
Constant-Pressure, High-Throughput Membrane Permeation Testing System

Membrane technologies have shown tremendous potential for a variety of separations, and new applications are constantly appearing. These new applications require exploration of materials, operational conditions, and membrane synthesis procedures, and demand accurate and timely...

Briefs: Materials

Technological advancements in materials, sensors, and computing have driven demand for higher-performance satellites. Satellites need to be much more capable in a much smaller size with a...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Reducing Moisture in Natural Fibers

Biological transformation focuses on the sustainable use of biological resources such as plants or microorganisms. In the future, it is expected to reduce reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal, or gas, and help tackle major challenges such as climate change and global population growth. It offers options...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing

Despite years of effort to stabilize proteins outside of their native environments, scientists have made limited progress in combining proteins with synthetic components like fibers without...

Briefs: Materials

A polymer was discovered that possesses many of the same characteristics as plastics, such as light weight, heat resistance, strength, and durability. But the new polymer, unlike...

Briefs: Nanotechnology

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have solved a longstanding problem that has been plaguing the scanning tunneling microscope for more than 35 years: How to prevent...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have adapted a process to apply thermal and environmental barrier coatings using a unique combination of a plasma spray (PS) process and...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An eel-like robot was developed that can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Aerogels are among the lightest materials in the world, and are highly porous with strong absorption capacity and low thermal conductivity. These unique properties make aerogels highly...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a simple mechanism for the clean cutting of high-strength and high-toughness carbon nanotube/poly-mer fiber composites on demand without high blade wear or...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Aircraft coatings are the first line of defense when it comes to mitigating structural corrosion of an air platform. As new coatings are developed — particularly those that contain non-chrome primers...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

It has been established opinion since the 1950s that organic crystals and liquid scintillators can work for detecting neutrons, but that plastics are not suitable for neutron detection. For...

Briefs: Energy

Commercial buildings in the United States account for nearly 40% of the total energy consumption. Among them, electricity is the largest energy source for buildings....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

For several decades, improvements in conventional transistor materials have been sufficient to sustain Moore’s Law — the historical pattern of microchip manufacturers...

Briefs: Medical
Removable Implant May Control Type 1 Diabetes

For the more than 1 million Americans who live with Type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are literally a matter of life and death. And while there is no cure, a new device may help manage the disease.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Demands for improved computer processing power have led researchers to explore both new processes and other materials beyond silicon to produce electronic components....

Briefs: Materials
Compact Termination for Structural Soft Goods

Space environments are particularly harsh for the high-strength fibers NASA relies on for soft structures. Kevlar, Nomex, Nylon, and other synthetic fibers are broken down by exposure to the combination of vacuum, atomic oxygen, and ultraviolet radiation. Glass fiber offers unique advantages for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Actuators are used in a wide variety of electromechanical systems and in robotics, in applications such as steerable catheters, aircraft wings that adapt to changing conditions, and wind...

Briefs: Materials

USAF-96 Steel is a low-alloy steel that, when thermally processed with the method described here, has the following typical values: an ultimate tensile strength of 245 ksi, yield strength at 0.2% offset...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Walls often make up more than half of indoor surface area, especially in residential and office buildings. In addition to delimiting spaces, both for functional and...

Briefs: Transportation

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Polymer-Based 2D-to-3D Transformable Surfaces

Technologies using stretchable materials are increasingly important. Yet, in general, it is not possible to control how they stretch with much more sophistication than inflating balloons. A method was developed that allows the calculated transformation of 2D stretchable surfaces into targeted 3D...

Briefs: Materials

Large-scale liquid rocket engines with regeneratively cooled nozzles will enable reliable and reduced-cost access to space. The coolant that circulates through the internal...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

When testing composite structures, it is important to understand the response of the structure to the load. Of significance is the formation of damage and growth of that damage leading...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Freeform Fabrication Using Electrically Conductive Filaments

The use of multifunctional composites such as mechanically reinforced, electrically and thermally conductive parts is of interest in a range of application areas. Especially interesting and important is where tailorability of function is achieved by strategic placement of materials...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Thinning a material down to a single-atom thickness can dramatically change that material’s physical properties. Graphene, the best known two-dimensional (2D) material, has...

Briefs: Materials
Printing Ink Removes Oxygen in Sealed Packages

Oxygen adversely impacts food flavor and nutrition. NASA’s proposed five-year shelf life for astronaut food requires aggressive measures to minimize oxygen. Previously, NASA packaged foods in containers with a high oxygen and moisture barrier. These materials have limiting properties. They contain...

Briefs: Materials

Researchers at NASA’s Glenn and Langley Research Centers have developed a groundbreaking bio-mimicking acoustic liner for quieting noisy environments. Conventional approaches have not been able to absorb...

Briefs: Energy
Fabric Converts Kinetic Energy into Electric Power

A fabric was developed that converts kinetic energy into electric power. The greater the load applied to the textile and the wetter it becomes, the more electricity it generates. The woven fabric generates electricity when it is stretched or exposed to pressure. The fabric can currently generate...

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