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: Medical

Materials scientists are looking to nature — at the discs in human spines and the skin of ocean-diving fish — for clues about how to design materials with both flexibility and stiffness. The...

Briefs: Data Acquisition
Flexible Silicon-on-Polymer Chip

A new, flexible, silicon-on-polymer chip was developed to augment new networked realities such as the Internet of Things. Typical silicon-based integrated circuits are brittle, rigid components packaged in a way that protects them. When these devices are put into a flexible form factor, rigidity is a negative...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) have the unique ability to recover large deformations in response to thermal, mechanical, and/or magnetic stimuli. This behavior occurs by virtue of a crystallo-graphically...

Briefs: Medical

Currently, most 3D-printed organ models are made using hard plastics or rubbers. This limits their application for accurate prediction and replication of the organ’s physical...

Briefs: Materials

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a landing gear cavity modification that reduces noise produced during aircraft approach and landing. The modification is an innovative stretchable...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Flexible, Water-Repellent Graphene Circuits for Washable Electronics

New graphene printing technology can produce electronic circuits that are low-cost, flexible, highly conductive, and water-repellent. Low-cost, inkjet-printed graphene can be tuned with a laser to make functional materials.

Briefs: Energy
Cryo-Fluid Capacitor (CFC) for Solid-State Storage and Supply-on-Demand of Cryogenic Fluids

Storage and transfer of fluid commodities such as oxygen, hydrogen, natural gas, nitrogen, argon, etc. are absolute necessities in virtually every industry. These fluids are typically contained in one of two ways: as low-pressure cryogenic liquids, or as...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Ultra-Strong, Lightweight, Elastic, Electrically Conductive Carbon

The configuration of carbon's electrons allows for numerous self-bonding combinations that give rise to a range of materials with varying properties. For example, transparent, super-hard diamonds and opaque graphite, which is used for both pencils and industrial lubricant, are...

Briefs: Materials

Carbon aerogels (CAs) are nano-porous carbons comprising a particularly significant class of carbon nano-materials for a variety of sustainable energy applications. Carbon aerogels are...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Current gas mask filters counter current threats, but there are large gaps in knowledge about how they do so at the molecular level. Many of the filters were developed to handle a wide...

Briefs: Aerospace
Interlaminar Strengthening Concepts for Polymer Matrix Composites

During the last few decades, one of the most prevalent issues associated with the performance of aerospace composite materials has revolved around low interlaminar mechanical properties. The innovations described in this work outline a number of new and improved techniques for...

Briefs: Materials

Corrosion of structural materials is a serious problem for industrial and civil infrastructure worldwide, costing billions of dollars, and hampering gross domestic product. Corrosion also presents...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Conductive, High-Toughness Oxides Deposited by Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD)

Oxide coatings deposited in Glenn Research Center's Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD) facility can be processed to be mechanically tough (erosion-resistant) and electrically conductive at room temperature. The electrically conductive...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Optical Method for Detecting Displacements and Strains at Ultra-High Temperatures During Thermo-Mechanical Testing

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an optical method for detecting displacements and strains at ultra-high temperatures during thermo-mechanical testing. This innovation will provide displacement and strain measurements in...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a solid-state humidity sensing element that offers ultra-high sensitivity across a wide range of humidity levels. The sensing element is...

Briefs: Data Acquisition

Conductive thread — embroidery thread that can carry an electrical current — often is combined with other types of electronics to create fabric that lights up or communicates. This...

Briefs: Software

Using 3D printers, researchers have created a metamaterial from cubic building blocks that responds to compression forces by a rotation. Usually, this can only be...

Briefs: Energy
Superalloy Surface Treatment for Improved Performance of Power Turbines

To produce power more efficiently and cleanly, the next generation of power turbines will have to operate at extreme temperatures and pressures. Currently, single-crystal, nickel-based superalloys are used in such extreme environments. MCrAlY coatings (where M = Co, Ni, or...

Briefs: Materials
Method of Fabricating Ultra-Short-Gate-Length Thin-Film Transistors Using Optical Lithography

The speed of thin-film transistors (TFTs) relates directly to their gate length, which must be kept as short as possible to lower electron transport time between electrodes, and improve its high-frequency response characteristics. Since current density...

Briefs: Materials
Process Turns Carbon Dioxide into 3D Graphene with Microporous Surface

The conversion of carbon dioxide to useful materials usually requires high energy input due to its ultrahigh stability. A heat-releasing reaction between carbon dioxide and sodium was developed to take carbon dioxide and turn it into 3D graphene with micropores across its...

Briefs: Materials
Electromagnetic Metamaterial with Wide Angular and Broadband Spectral Absorption

Propagation in a waveguide requires proper termination of signals to prevent reflections from interfering with the desired circuit functionality. Conventional termination designs for a two-dimensional planar waveguide topology provide maximum signal suppression in...

Briefs: Materials

In order to store information in the conventional magnetic memories of electronic devices, the material’s small magnetic domains are oriented “up” or “down” by using...

Briefs: Materials

NASA Langley Research Center has developed fluorinated alkyl ether-containing epoxies designed as an anti-insect coating. The robust and durable coating was developed...

Briefs: Materials

Researchers at NASA have developed new methods to manufacture carbon materials (e.g., nanotubes, graphene) with holes through the graphitic surface of the particles. The...

Briefs: Materials

Superconducting materials are technologically important because electricity flows through them without resistance. Only low-temperature superconductivity seemed possible before 1986,...

Briefs: Materials

A light foam was created from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) that absorbs carbon dioxide. Freeze-drying h-BN turned it into a macro-scale foam that...

Briefs: Materials
Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Polymers for High-Temperature Applications

A new class of polymeric materials was developed with resistance to heat, dielectric breakdown, and oxidation at high temperatures. For applications that demand high temperature resistance coupled with greater strength, these polymers can be easily transformed into ceramics with...

Briefs: Materials

The slippery state caused by water or oil is called superlubricity — where there is basically no friction on a surface. In graphene, this superlubricity state comes from atomic orbitals that...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs

Silicon has several qualities that have led it to become the bedrock of electronics. One is that it features a very good “native” insulator — silicon dioxide, or...

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