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

Carbon nanotube (CNT) sheets, yarns, and their derivative products are beginning to emerge in the marketplace. A productive and scalable manufacturing method...

Briefs: Materials

Devices that could be characterized as acoustically driven molecular sieves have been proposed for filtering water to remove all biological contaminants and all molecules larger...

Briefs: Materials
Improvements in Production of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

A continuing program of research and development has been directed toward improvement of a prior batch process in which single-walled carbon nanotubes are formed by catalytic disproportionation of carbon monoxide in a fluidized-bed reactor. The overall effect of the improvements has...

Briefs: Materials
Progress Toward Sequestering Carbon Nanotubes in PmPV

A report reopens the discussion of “Sequestration of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in a Polymer” (MSC-23257), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 31, No. 12 (December 2007), page 38. To recapitulate: Sequestration of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in molecules of...

Briefs: Materials
Functionalizing CNTs for Making Epoxy/CNT Composites

Functionalization of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with linear molecular side chains of polyphenylene ether (PPE) has been shown to be effective in solubilizing the CNTs in the solvent components of solutions that are cast to make epoxy/CNT composite films. (In the absence of solubilization, the...

Briefs: Materials

Electrolytes comprising LiPF6 dissolved in alkyl carbonate/fluoroester mixtures have been found to afford improved low-temperature performance and greater high-temperature...

Briefs: Materials

An improved design concept for aerogel vacuum thermal-insulation panels calls for multiple layers of aerogel sandwiched between layers of aluminized Mylar (or equivalent) poly(ethylene...

Briefs: Materials
Using Volcanic Ash To Remove Dissolved Uranium and Lead

Experiments have shown that significant fractions of uranium, lead, and possibly other toxic and/or radioactive substances can be removed from an aqueous solution by simply exposing the solution, at ambient temperature, to a treatment medium that includes weathered volcanic ash from Pu’u...

Briefs: Materials
Cyclic Oxidation Behavior of CuCrAl Cold-Sprayed Coatings for Reusable Launch Vehicles

The next generation of reusable launch vehicles is likely to use GRCop-84 [Cu-8(at.%)Cr-4%Nb] copper alloy combustion liners. The application of protective coatings on GRCop-84 liners can minimize or eliminate many of the environmental problems experienced by...

Briefs: Materials
Ceramic Fiber Structures for Cryogenic Load-Bearing Applications

This invention is intended for use as a load-bearing device under cryogenic temperatures and/or abrasive conditions (i.e., during missions to the Moon). The innovation consists of small-diameter, ceramic fibers that are woven or braided into devices like ropes, belts, tracks, or...

Briefs: Materials
Elastomer Reinforced With Carbon Nanotubes

Elastomers are reinforced with functionalized, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) giving them high- breaking strain levels and low densities. Cross-linked elastomers are prepared using amine-terminated, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), with an average molecular weight of 5,000 daltons, and a...

Briefs: Materials
Improving Heat Flux Performance of Flat Surface in Spray-Cooling Systems

A method has been developed for improving heat flux performance relative to flat surfaces in spray-cooling systems. Similar enhancement techniques have been used for convective heat transfer, but, to the best knowledge at the time of this reporting, never spray cooling of...

Briefs: Materials
Treating Fibrous Insulation To Reduce Thermal Conductivity

A chemical treatment reduces the convective and radiative contributions to the effective thermal conductivity of porous fibrous thermal-insulation tile. The net effect of the treatment is to coat the surfaces of fibers with a mixture of transition-metal oxides (TMOs) without filling the...

Briefs: Materials
Silica-Aerogel Composites Opacified With La0.7Sr0.3MnO3

As part of an effort to develop improved lightweight thermal-insulation tiles to withstand temperatures up to 1,000 °C, silica aerogel/fused-quartz- fiber composite materials containing La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 particles as opacifiers have been investigated as...

Briefs: Materials
Biologically Inspired Purification and Dispersion of SWCNTs

A biologically inspired method has been developed for (1) separating single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) from other materials (principally, amorphous carbon and metal catalysts) in raw production batches and (2) dispersing the SWCNTs as individual particles (in contradistinction to...

Briefs: Materials
Quantifying Airborne Hydrogen in Nearly Real Time

An indirect method of measuring small concentrations of hydrogen gas in air in nearly real time has been devised to circumvent the difficulty of performing such measurements directly. In this method, a sample of air suspected of containing hydrogen is first enclosed in a suitable container, and...

Briefs: Materials

It is now possible to grow silicon nanowires at chosen positions and orientations by a method that involves a combination of standard microfabrication processes. Because their...

Briefs: Materials

Palladium chloride films have been found to be useful as alternatives to the gold films heretofore used to detect airborne elemental mercury at concentrations of the order of parts per...

Briefs: Materials

Like the palladium chloride (PdCl2) films described in the immediately preceding article, gold nanowire sensors have been found to be useful for detecting airborne elemental...

Briefs: Materials
Electrolytes for Low-Temperature Operation of Li-CFₓ Cells

A report describes a study of electrolyte compositions selected as candidates for improving the low-temperature performances of primary electrochemical cells that contain lithium anodes and fluorinated carbonaceous (CFx) cathodes. This study complements the developments...

Briefs: Materials
Polyimide-Foam/Aerogel Composites for Thermal Insulation

Composites of specific types of polymer foams and aerogel particles or blankets have been proposed to obtain thermal insulation performance superior to those of the neat polyimide foams. These composites have potential to also provide enhanced properties for vibration dampening or acoustic...

Briefs: Materials

Yb14MnSb11 has been found to be well-suited for use as a p-type thermoelectric material in applications that involve hot-side temperatures in the...

Briefs: Materials
Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids for Electrochemical Capacitors

A document discusses room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) used as electrolytes in carbon-nanotube-based, electrochemical, double-layer capacitors. Unlike the previous electrolyte (EtNB4 in acetonitrile), the RTIL used here does not produce cyanide upon thermal decomposition and does...

Briefs: Materials
Ultra-Lightweight Self- Deployable Nanocomposite Structure for Habitat Applications

A document discusses self-deployable, rigidized structures that are ultra-lightweight and have gas barrier properties, space durability, and high impact resistance. Developed here are microcellular-foamed sandwich structures made from nanocomposite shape memory...

Briefs: Materials

Polyimide-PEO copolymers (“PEO” signifies polyethylene oxide) that have branched rod-coil molecular structures and that can be cured into film form at room...

Briefs: Materials
Catalysts for Efficient Production of Carbon Nanotubes

Several metal alloys have shown promise as improved catalysts for catalytic thermal decomposition of hydrocarbon gases to produce carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Heretofore almost every experiment on the production of carbon nanotubes by this method has involved the use of iron, nickel, or cobalt...

Briefs: Materials
Amorphous Silk Fibroin Membranes for Separation of CO₂

Amorphous silk fibroin has shown promise as a polymeric material derivable from natural sources for making membranes for use in removing CO2 from mixed-gas streams. For most applications of silk fibroin, for purposes other than gas separation, this material is used in its highly...

Briefs: Materials

Integrated multilayer insulation (IMLI) is being developed as an improved alternative to conventional multilayer insulation (MLI), which is more than 50 years old. A typical conventional MLI blanket comprises...

Briefs: Materials

Lightweight composites of RP46 polyimide and glass fibers have been found to be useful as extraordinarily fire-resistant electrical-insulation materials. RP46 is a polyimide of the...

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