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.

Articles: Test & Measurement
Products of Tomorrow: June 2019
Get the latest breakthroughs from NASA & other technology sources.

Latest Briefs & News

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...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

Briefs : Materials
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...

Briefs : 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...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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...

Question of the Week : Transportation
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 design is an extensively explored and utilized concept in many industries, especially in aerospace applications, and is associated with the green aviation concept. The...

Briefs : Materials
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,...

Briefs : Materials
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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'
Tesla uses batteries to store energy underneath the car seats. What if we could store energy everywhere on the vehicle?
Briefs : Materials
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

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 : Materials
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Photonics/Optics
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Q&A: Rice University's Rouzbeh Shahsavari Creates a Stronger, Lighter Cement

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 : Aerospace
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 : Materials
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Software
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 : Materials
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Materials
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...