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
Patterned Carbon Nanotube Arrays for Displays

Multi-colored electronic displays that are dynamically reconfigurable require substantial electrical power and are limited in the amount of fine detail provided by the physical size of the light sources. For example, where phosphor elements are used, as in a television screen or computer monitor, the...

Briefs: Materials
Puncture Self-Healing Polymer for Aerospace Applications

A document discusses a puncture self-healing polymer for space exploration that is capable of puncture healing upon impact. Puncture healing occurs instantaneously, providing mechanical property retention in lightweight structures.

Briefs: Materials
Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes Into Polymer Matrices to Produce Unique Properties

The present invention addresses the effective dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into polymer matrices. The nanocomposites are prepared using polymer matrices and exhibit a unique combination of properties, most notably, high retention of optical transparency in...

Briefs: Materials
Carbon Nanotube Growth Density Control

This method provides control over the growth density of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on a relatively coarse scale, with density adjustment over several orders of magnitude, using an applied electrical field or voltage difference that is aligned substantially perpendicular to the substrate surface, which is...

Briefs: Materials
Pulsed Plasma Lubricator (PPL) Technology for the In Situ Replenishment of Dry Lubricants in Extreme Environments

NASA missions employing mobility systems and other moving mechanical assemblies for application on Mars, the Moon, and in deep space depend on the reliable operation of these assemblies and their tribological components. Wet...

Briefs: Materials
Long-Life, Hydrophilic, Antimicrobial Coating for Condensing Heat Exchangers

Future manned spacecraft and lunar or Mars outposts will need a condensing heat exchanger (CHX) to control humidity in the cabin atmosphere. Condensing surfaces must be hydrophilic to control condensate flow and ensure efficient operation in zero gravity, and biocidal...

Briefs: Materials
Opposed Pad Gecko Adhesive Gripper for On-Off Omnidirectional Anchoring/Gripping in Orbit

The idea of turning the stickiness of a material on and off is not an intuitive concept, yet this is exactly how geckos run up walls at speeds greater than 1 m/s and cling to ceilings made of glass. Transitioning this capability to spacecraft would...

Briefs: Materials
Complex Geometry Multi-Use Coatings for Abrasion Prevention, Wear Resistance, and Lunar Dust Removal

Two coatings are required to remove/repel lunar dust particles from the mechanism or surface that needs protection. One coating must be a conductor, and one must be a dielectric. Tungsten carbide (WC) and aluminum oxide...

Briefs: Materials

The automotive industry faces growing pressure for more efficient vehicles. This pressure comes from many sources including government regulations,...

Briefs: Materials
Mechanistic-Based Multiaxial- Stochastic-Strength Model for Transversely- Isotropic Brittle Materials

A methodology has been developed and the software written to predict the probability of failure of transversely isotropic (a type of anisotropy) materials under generalized thermomechanical loading. This methodology is mechanistic in that it is...

Briefs: Materials

Spacecraft shielding is defined as the outer layer of a satellite or spacecraft that protects it against micrometeorite and orbital debris (MMOD), radiation damage, and...

Briefs: Materials
Li-Ion Electrolytes Containing Flame-Retardant Additives

In order to improve the safety and performance of lithium- ion cells, especially over a wide operating temperature range, a number of Li-ion electrolytes have been developed that contain flame-retardant additives in conjunction with fluorinated co-solvents to provide a safe,...

Briefs: Materials
Touch Temperature Coating for Electrical Equipment on Spacecraft

A coating has been developed that can be applied to spacecraft equipment to significantly increase the allowable touch temperature limit, while only marginally degrading the heat transfer to the environment.

Briefs: Materials

This product is an efficient concrete waterproofing solution. The crystalline, anti-corrosive material features a patented eka-molecular-sieve structure. The cement-based material...

Briefs: Materials

Aqueous Superabsorbent Coating (ASC) technology is a liquid polymer solution that dries to form an absorbent film. It can absorb up to 40 g/g by weight of water, depending on...

Briefs: Materials

Mechanisms are used widely in engineering applications due to their ability to translate force and movement. They are found in kinematic pairs, gears, cams, linkages,...

Briefs: Materials

Recently, additive manufacturing (AM) techniques have been developed that may shift the paradigm of traditional metal production by allowing complex netshaped...

Briefs: Materials
Ambient Dried Aerogels

A method has been developed for creating aerogel using normal pressure and ambient temperatures. All spacecraft, satellites, and landers require the use of thermal insulation due to the extreme environments encountered in space and on extraterrestrial bodies. Ambient dried aerogels introduce the possibility of using...

Briefs: Materials
Passivation of Flexible YBCO Superconducting Current Lead With Amorphous SiO₂ Layer

Adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators (ADR) are operated in space to cool detectors of cosmic radiation to a few 10s of mK. A key element of the ADR is a superconducting magnet operating at about 0.3 K that is continually energized and de-energized in...

Briefs: Materials
Centrifugal Sieve for Gravity-Level-Independent Size Segregation of Granular Materials

Conventional size segregation or screening in batch mode, using stacked vibrated screens, is often a time-consuming process. Utilization of centrifugal force instead of gravity as the primary body force can significantly shorten the time to segregate feedstock...

Briefs: Materials
Ion Exchange Technology Development in Support of the Urine Processor Assembly

The urine processor assembly (UPA) on the International Space Station (ISS) recovers water from urine via a vacuum distillation process. The distillation occurs in a rotating distillation assembly (DA) where the urine is heated and subjected to sub-ambient pressure....

Briefs: Materials

Next-generation high-temperature thermoelectric-power-generating devices will employ segmented architectures and will have to reliably withstand thermally induced...

Briefs: Materials
Microgravity Storage Vessels and Conveying-Line Feeders for Cohesive Regolith

Under microgravity, the usual methods of placing granular solids into, or extracting them from, containers or storage vessels will not function. Alternative methods are required to provide a motive force to move the material. New configurations for microgravity...

Briefs: Materials

In a previous disclosure, the use of 60-NiTiNOL, an ordered intermetallic compound composed of 60 weight percent nickel and 40 weight percent titanium, was investigated as a material for advanced...

Briefs: Materials
Cu-Cr-Nb-Zr Alloy for Rocket Engines and Other High-Heat- Flux Applications

Rocket-engine main combustion chamber liners are used to contain the burning of fuel and oxidizer and provide a stream of high-velocity gas for propulsion. The liners in engines such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine are regeneratively cooled by flowing fuel, e.g.,...

Briefs: Materials

Muon tomography has been used to seek hidden chambers in Egyptian pyramids and image subsurface features in volcanoes. It seemed likely that...

Briefs: Materials
Conductive Carbon Nanotube Inks for Use with Desktop Inkjet Printing Technology

Inkjet printing is a common commercial process. In addition to the familiar use in printing documents from computers, it is also used in some industrial applications. For example, wire manufacturers are required by law to print the wire type, gauge, and safety...

Briefs: Materials
Enhanced Schapery Theory Software Development for Modeling Failure of Fiber-Reinforced Laminates

Progressive damage and failure analysis (PDFA) tools are needed to predict the nonlinear response of advanced fiber-reinforced composite structures. Predictive tools should incorporate the underlying physics of the damage and failure mechanisms...

Briefs: Materials
High-Performance, Low-Temperature-Operating, Long-Lifetime Aerospace Lubricants

The synthesis and characterization of six new ionic liquids, with fluoroether moeties on the imidazolium ring, each with vapor pressures shown to be

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