Materials & Coatings

Composites

Explore the latest developments, technical briefs, and a wide range of white papers on the composites used in military, aviation, medical devices, and automotive applications.

Latest Briefs & News

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.

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Delamination and Porosity in Composites and Adhesives Using Solid and Particulate Powdered Aerogel

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a method that introduces solids and particulates — specifically aerogels — into composites or...

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...

Blog : Energy
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Tesla uses batteries to store energy underneath the car seats. What if we could store energy everywhere on the vehicle?
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Film Blocks Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can harm smartphones, tablets, chips, drones, wearables, aircraft, and human health. EMI is increasing with the explosive proliferation of devices that generate it. A technique was developed to produce relatively low-cost EMI-blocking composite films.

Briefs : Materials
Ultrathin, Ultralight “Nanocardboard” Recovers Shape After Bending

When choosing materials to make something, tradeoffs need to be made among properties such as thickness, stiffness, and weight. A new material called nanocardboard was...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
What is 'Metallic Wood?' Nickel, Plus Nano-Pores
By adding nanopores to nickel, James Pikul and his team created a kind of "metallic wood."
INSIDER : Materials
NASA Investigates Ultrafast Laser Machining for Spaceflight Applications

An ultrafast laser that fires pulses of light just 100 millionths of a nanosecond in duration could potentially revolutionize the way NASA technicians manufacture and...

INSIDER : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Detecting Light in a Different Dimension

Scientists from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) — a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory — have dramatically improved the...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Materials Move in Response to Light

In biology, there are many examples where light induces movement or change — think of flowers and leaves turning toward sunlight. Magnetic elastomeric composites were developed that move in different...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Composite Material Cools Itself Down Under Extreme Temperatures

A material, inspired by nature, can regulate its own temperature and could be used to treat burns and help space capsules withstand atmospheric forces. The research used a network of multiple microchannels with active flowing fluids (fluidics) as a method and proof-of-concept to...

Q&A : Materials
Q&A: Professor Rouzbeh Shahsavari, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX

Professor Shahsavari and graduate student Sung Hoon have demonstrated a process for producing a cement that is stronger, lighter, and more durable than the traditional Portland cement.

Briefs : Materials
SHEAth-based Rollable LEnticular-Shaped and Low-Stiction (SHEARLESS) Composite Booms

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed the SHEARLESS composite boom with a final cross-section shape that is lenticular and is flexible enough to...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Simulation for Everyone

With the computational power and software available today, numerical simulation is a real option to quickly get answers to complicated technical, scientific, and engineering questions. Not only has the hardware...

Briefs : Materials
Nano-Additives Increase the Service Life of Concrete

A new method increases the service life of concrete structures by reducing the infiltration rates of deleterious ions. The key is a nano-sized additive that slows down penetration of...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: November 2018

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...

Products : Materials
Product of the Month: November 2018

COMSOL, Burlington, MA, introduced COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.4 that features the new COMSOL Compiler™ for creating standalone simulation applications and digital twins for the...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Robotics/Automation/Manufacturing Category Winner

DON’T MELT. MELD.™

The MELD™ technology enables additive manufacturing (AM) of metals. This patented process is unique because there is...

News : Aerospace
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner

DETECTING PLASTIC LANDMINES

Hidden PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines are unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices that pose a difficult challenge to conventional...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Technique Creates Adaptive Materials

A technique that enables on-demand control of composite behavior could enable a variety of new capabilities for future rotorcraft design, performance, and maintenance. The focus of the research was on...

INSIDER : Energy
Silicon-Based Tandem Photovoltaic Modules Show Potential

New solar energy research from Arizona State University demonstrates that silicon-based tandem photovoltaic modules, which convert sunlight to electricity with higher efficiency than...

Briefs : Materials
Nano/Micro Mechanical Environmental Test Cell

A device and method have been developed to conduct compression and tensile tests on soft materials such as flocculated sediments, biopolymers, biological materials, and food stuffs. The device...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Kinetic-Energy Penetrator Shielding and High-Wear-Resistance Materials Fabricated with Boron Nitride Nanotubes and BNNT Polymer Composites

In recent years, anti-penetration materials have been more widely used for armor, bulletproof vests, and micrometeoroid and orbital debris protection layers for space-suits, space vehicles, and...

Briefs : Materials
Variable-Camber Compliant Wing

In the early years of manned flight, wing warping was used for lateral control of an aircraft. This technique consisted of a system of pulleys and cables used to twist the trailing edges of the wings in...

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