Materials & Manufacturing

Browse innovative developments in materials and manufacturing that significantly impact military, medical devices, automotive, and industrial manufacturing. Advances in plastics, metals, and composites are transforming 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

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Technology Leaders

Latest Briefs & News

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
3D-Printable Sensor ‘Turns Blue’ to Detect Trace Amounts of Water
The sensor supports new ideas in food-quality control, environmental monitoring, and more.
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Inside the Invention of a Snore-Stopping Sleep Mask – From Idea to Prototype to Product
It took two and a half years, 60 prototypes, and even some of his children’s craft foam, but Curtis Ray turned his idea into invention.
Question of the Week : Materials
Will Carbon Fibers Find a New Place in Vehicles?

In a Tech Briefs article last week, Virginia Tech professor Greg Liu spoke about his team’s newly developed porous carbon fibers, and how the material may someday change how vehicles are built and powered.

Blog : Electronics & Computers
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Your design idea could win you $20,000.
Application Briefs : Automotive
Driverless Forklifts

Although driverless forklifts have been around for about 30 years, it's only in the last 10 or so that they've been free to maneuver anywhere around their environment. In the early days, the machines followed a current...

Products : Electronics & Computers
New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology

Torque Measurement System

To address the demand for a more accurate, reliable, customizable, and easy-to-use force measurement device, Interface Force Measurement Systems (Scottsdale, AZ)...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Additive Manufacturing Using Infrared and X-Ray Imaging

Additive manufacturing is poised to liven the pace and scale of manufacturing. Deploying a range of techniques that use 3-D models to print objects layer by layer, it can generate a...

Articles : Data Acquisition
The Role Deep Learning Plays in Imaging Software

Deep learning technology is inspired by the way the human brain works, using trained artificial neural networks to perform recognition and decision-making tasks. A convolutional neural network...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microfabrication Technique Modifies Semiconductor Material Atom-by-Atom

To keep up with Moore's Law — an observation made in the 1960s that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles about every two years — researchers...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multi-Purpose, Flexible Wing Structure for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

Small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as micro air vehicles, are promising tools for a variety of military and commercial applications. Some small UAS have flexible wings and are lightweight, making them back-packable and easy to deploy. Most UAS that are...

Briefs : Aerospace
Flexible, Spinning Heat Shield for Spacecraft

Heat shields are essentially used as the brakes to stop spacecraft from burning up and crashing on entry and reentry into a planet's atmosphere. Current spacecraft heat shield methods include...

Articles : Design
Lightweighting in Aerospace Component and System Design

Lightweighting design is an extensively explored and utilized concept in many industries, especially in aerospace applications, and is associated with the green aviation concept. The...

Products : Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: March 2019

Controller and Datalogger

Watlow, St. Louis, MO, introduced a batch processing feature for the F4T temperature and process controller and D4T datalogger. The new feature helps collect manufacturing part...

Articles : Materials
SAE WCX: Bringing You the Future of Mobility

WCX™ World Congress Experience 2019 — presented by SAE International — is for forward-thinking engineers, executives, OEMs, suppliers, decision-makers, disruptors, and the entire spectrum of...

Briefs : Materials
Variable-Depth, Multilayer Liner for Aircraft Noise Reduction

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a new approach for designing aircraft liner cores for noise reduction. The cores are comprised of multiple honeycomb-shaped chambers,...

Articles : Materials
The Heat Is On: A Guide to Specifying Insulation Materials

One of the first things an electrical engineer will learn is that the number-one enemy of designing and manufacturing any electrical/electronic product is heat. It's the one...

Briefs : Communications
Interoperable Intelligent Controllers for Process Management and Control Networks

NASA Johnson Space Center developed reprogrammable and interchangeable electronic controllers that can attach to a system or subsystem wirelessly or through plug-and-play capability. Originally designed to work with rocket engines, this technology can control...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Products of Tomorrow: March 2019

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Since 1967, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) has been the United States’ premier particle physics laboratory, working on the world's most advanced particle accelerators...

Products : Software
Product of the Month: March 2019 Tech Briefs

Boothroyd Dewhurst, Wakefield, RI, announced Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA®) 2019 software for analyzing parts and assemblies. DFMA utilizes a question-and-answer interface that...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of 3D-Printing Piezoelectric Materials

Who

Piezoelectric materials are used in everything from cellphones and wearables, to robotics, energy harvesting, and tactile sensors.

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Make Your Construction Jobsite Safer and Faster with Smart Sensors

Concrete is the material most widely used by humans — after water. As its ingredients are readily available almost anywhere in the world, it is the main component used by...

Briefs : Materials
“Metallic Wood” Has the Strength of Titanium and the Density of Water

Titanium is as strong as steel but about twice as light. These properties depend on the way a metal's atoms are stacked, but random defects that arise in the...

Briefs : Materials
Composite Advances Lignin as Renewable 3D Printing Material

Lignin is the material left over from the processing of biomass. It gives plants rigidity and also makes biomass resistant to being broken down into useful products. Researchers combined a melt-stable hardwood lignin with conventional plastic, a low-melting nylon, and carbon fiber to...

Briefs : Aerospace
Electronics Withstand Extreme Heat

Most electronics only function within a certain temperature range but blending two organic materials together creates electronics that withstand extreme heat. The new plastic material could reliably conduct...