Materials & Manufacturing

Materials & Coatings

Access the technical resources for a range of materials and coatings. Design engineers can browse news, technical briefs, and applications for plastics, composites, rubbers, elastomers, and metals.

Latest Briefs & News

Briefs : Propulsion
Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. A new cooling concept...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants

Industrial machinery, agricultural equipment, transportation vessels, and home applications depend on lubricants; however, they leave a heavy environmental footprint. Common lubricants, oils,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Thin, Durable Heating Patches

Thin, durable heating patches were created using intense pulses of light to fuse tiny silver wires with polyester. Their heating performance is nearly 70 percent higher than similar patches. The inexpensive...

Q&A : Materials
Q&A: Professor Jaime Grunlan, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Professor Grunlan and his team are developing a new flame-retardant coating using renewable, nontoxic materials readily found in nature that could provide effective fire protection for several widely used materials.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Material Captures and Removes Toxic Atmospheric Gas

A metal-organic framework (MOF) material was developed that exhibits a selective, fully reversible, and repeatable capability to remove nitrogen dioxide gas from the atmosphere in ambient...

Briefs : Materials
Using Common WiFi to Detect Weapons, Bombs, and Chemicals in Bags

Ordinary WiFi can easily detect weapons, bombs, and explosive chemicals in bags at museums, stadiums, theme parks, schools, and other public venues using a low-cost suspicious...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fabric Alternative to Batteries for Wearable Devices

Wearable biosensors for health monitoring lack a lightweight, long-lasting power supply. A new method was developed for making a charge-storing system that is easily integrated into...

Briefs : Materials
Rechargeable, High-Temperature, Molten Salt Battery

Growing demand for electric vehicles and more sustainable forms of transport means finding new forms of energy storage such as batteries, supercapacitors, and fuel cells. Currently, a major challenge facing the industry is the poor performance quality of rechargeable batteries, which often lose...

Briefs : Materials
Plastic-Degrading Enzyme

Eight million metric tons of plastic waste, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, enter the oceans each year, creating huge manmade islands of garbage. Experts estimate that by 2050, there will be as much waste plastic in the ocean by mass as there are fish. A bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, can...

Application Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Metal 3D Printing for Complex Heat Exchangers
Renishaw
West Dundee, IL
www.renishaw.com

HiETA develops metal additive manufacturing (AM) methods for the production of complex, lightweight structures for heat management...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Metallic Hollow Nanoparticle Fabrication

NASA Langley Research Center has developed new methods for fabricating hollow nanoparticles using dendrimer molecules. Dendrimers are used as templates to control the size, stability, and solubility...

Who's Who : Electronics & Computers
5 Ws of the Heart Energy Harvester

Who

Millions of people who rely on pacemakers, defibrillators, and other livesaving implantable devices powered by batteries that need to be replaced every five to 10 years.

Briefs : Materials
In-Situ Selective Reinforcement of Near-Net-Shape Formed Structures

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a method in which a metal matrix composite (MMC) material is incorporated into a metallic structure during a one-step...

Application Briefs : Materials
Lockheed Martin Explores a Different Kind of Space for NASA
Protolabs
Maple Plain, MN
www.protolabs.com

Mankind first set foot on the Moon in 1969; nearly five decades have now passed. Today, NASA is developing the Orion...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
See-Through Film Rejects 70 Percent of Incoming Solar Heat

A heat-rejecting film was developed that could be applied to a building’s windows to reflect up to 70 percent of the Sun’s incoming heat. The film remains highly transparent...

Articles : Power
Organic Compound Turns Toxic Waste into Harmless Byproducts

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wear-Resistant Platinum Gold Alloy

From cellphones to satellites, industry spends millions on traditional gold alloy electrical contact coatings. While gold and other metal alloys have been an industry standard to protect metal components...

Briefs : Energy
Nickel with Nanoscale Pores Has the Strength of Titanium and 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
Self-Healing, Fluid-Inspired Material

Even tiny cracks can cause bridges to collapse, pipelines to rupture, and fuselages to detach from airplanes due to hard-to-detect corrosion in tiny cracks, scratches, and dents. A new coating strategy for metal self-heals within seconds when scratched, scraped, or cracked. The novel material could prevent...

INSIDER : Materials
Materials Delay Frost 300 Times Longer Than Anti-Icing Coatings

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago discovered several unique properties of materials known as phase-switching liquids (PSLs) that hold promise as...

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.
Question of the Week : Energy
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.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Graphene's Magic Is in the Defects

A team of researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering and NYU Center for Neural Science has solved a longstanding puzzle of how to build ultra-sensitive, ultra-small, electrochemical...

Application Briefs : Communications
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...

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