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
Are You Lightweighting with Plastics and Composites?

A Tech Briefs webinar this month focused on the idea of lightweighting – or replacing traditionally metal parts, like engine components, with plastics and composites.

Facility Focus : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. Founded in 1934 as the Engineering...

Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Polymer-Based Foam Structure Responds to Shock Waves
3D-Printed Polymer-Based Foam Structure Responds to Shock Waves

A 3D-printed polymer-based foam structure was developed that responds to the force of a shock wave to act as a oneway switch, a long sought-after goal in shock research. The...

3D-Printed Polymer-Based Foam Structure Responds to Shock Waves
On-Demand Webinars : Materials
Lightweighting with Composites and Plastics

The automotive and aerospace industries, in particular, are increasingly looking for innovations that reduce weight, resulting in greater fuel efficiency. From car bumpers to airplane interiors, composites and plastics are being used more commonly for functional components that are lightweight and...

Blog : Materials
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
How much does windshield glazing matter when cars drive themselves?
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
High-Temperature Dielectric Nanocomposite

A nanocomposite was developed that could be a superior high-temperature dielectric material for flexible electronics, energy storage, and electric devices. The nanocomposite combines one-dimensional polymer nanofibers and two-dimensional boron nitride nano-sheets. The nanofibers reinforce the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fuel Cell Technology Runs on Solid Carbon
Fuel Cell Technology Runs on Solid Carbon

Whereas hydrogen fuel cells (e.g., proton exchange membrane (PEM) and other fuel cells) generate electricity from the chemical reaction between pure hydrogen and oxygen, direct carbon fuel cells...

Fuel Cell Technology Runs on Solid Carbon
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Automated Guided Wave System for In-Process Cure Monitoring of CFRP Composite Laminates
Automated Guided Wave System for In-Process Cure Monitoring of CFRP Composite Laminates

In the polymer composites industry, cure cycles are typically developed from trial-and-error or a more effective processing science approach to reduce...

Automated Guided Wave System for In-Process Cure Monitoring of CFRP Composite Laminates
Special Reports : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lightweighting

Demands for weight reduction and better fuel efficiency in the automotive and aerospace industries are driving design innovations and the development of new lightweight, high-strength materials. To help you keep pace with the latest advances, we present this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Automotive Engineering,...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: June 2019
Products of Tomorrow: June 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...

Products of Tomorrow: June 2019
On-Demand Webinars : Software
Multiphysics Analysis of Composite Materials

Composite materials are widely used in constructing aircraft, wind turbine blades, automobile components, boat hulls, bicycles, and safety equipment, among many other applications. The stiffness-to-weight ratio of composite materials makes them an excellent choice for these applications, but these...

Facility Focus : Materials
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Founded on July 1, 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is one of NASA’s largest field centers. Marshall engineers designed, built, tested, and helped launch the Saturn V...

Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Briefs : Materials
Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings
Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings

Researchers, drawing inspiration from bacteria, have designed smart, bio-compatible microrobots that are highly flexible. Because these devices are able to swim through fluids and modify their shape...

Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings
Briefs : Materials
Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials
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...

Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
In-Situ Selective Reinforcement of Near-Net-Shape Formed Structures
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...

In-Situ Selective Reinforcement of Near-Net-Shape Formed Structures
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.

Articles : Aerospace
Lightweighting in Aerospace Component and System 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...

Lightweighting in Aerospace Component and System Design
Briefs : Test & Measurement
System Selectively Sequesters Toxins from Water
System Selectively Sequesters Toxins from Water

Traditional methods, such as reverse osmosis, that remove contaminants from water are expensive and energy-intensive. Researchers have developed technology to remove contaminants from water,...

System Selectively Sequesters Toxins from Water
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Delamination and Porosity in Composites and Adhesives Using Solid and Particulate Powdered Aerogel
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...

Delamination and Porosity in Composites and Adhesives Using Solid and Particulate Powdered Aerogel
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 : Transportation
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
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?
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultrathin, Ultralight “Nanocardboard” Recovers Shape After Bending
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...

Ultrathin, Ultralight “Nanocardboard” Recovers Shape After Bending
Blog : Materials
What is 'Metallic Wood?' Nickel, Plus Nano-Pores
What is 'Metallic Wood?' Nickel, Plus Nano-Pores
By adding nanopores to nickel, James Pikul and his team created a kind of "metallic wood."
What is 'Metallic Wood?' Nickel, Plus Nano-Pores
INSIDER : Materials
NASA Investigates Ultrafast Laser Machining for Spaceflight Applications
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...

NASA Investigates Ultrafast Laser Machining for Spaceflight Applications