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

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
This technology has applications in sonar, range measuring, directional-force sensors, flow meters, and vibration/noise sensing and control.
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Briefs : Energy
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
The device could impact composites manufacturing and health monitoring.
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Briefs : Motion Control
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor

Researchers have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners, and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen....

Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Compact, Lightweight, CMC-Based Acoustic Liner
Compact, Lightweight, CMC-Based Acoustic Liner

In the wake of recent developments that have reduced fan and jet noise contributions to overall jet-engine noise, aircraft designers are turning their attention toward reducing engine core...

Compact, Lightweight, CMC-Based Acoustic Liner
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.

INSIDER : Imaging
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells

Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact, like...

Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Products of Tomorrow: September 2019
Products of Tomorrow: September 2019

Semi-Liquid Metal Anode for Next-Generation Batteries

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a semi-liquid lithium metal-based anode. Lithium batteries made using this new...

Products of Tomorrow: September 2019
Briefs : Materials
Origami-Inspired Material Softens Impact Forces
Origami-Inspired Material Softens Impact Forces

Landing is stressful on a rocket’s legs because they must handle the force from the impact with the landing pad. One way to combat this is to build legs out of materials that absorb some of...

Origami-Inspired Material Softens Impact Forces
Facility Focus : Transportation
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Energy
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Transportation
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Materials
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Propulsion
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 : Materials
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