Materials & Coatings


Learn the latest technologies and tactics for engineering plastics. Design engineers can browse applications and technical briefs for plastics used in 3D printing, military and defense, medical devices, automotive, and all areas of manufacturing.

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Latest Briefs & News

Blog: Transportation
Tech Briefs readers ask a series of questions about the future of plastics in battery electric vehicles.
Products: Test & Measurement
Displacement sensors, metal 3D printers, shielding materials, and more.
NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The inserts use a material that NASA has considered for spacecraft filters.
INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

Rice University engineers have suggested a colorful solution to next-generation energy collection: Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) in your windows. The team designed and...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The marking provides easy-to-see legends on plastic buttons under widely varying illumination conditions.
Briefs: Energy
The material can be recycled, making renewable energy more sustainable while lowering costs in the process.
Briefs: Materials
A chemical process converts polyethylene plastic into a strong, valuable adhesive.
Briefs: Materials
The technology welds adjacent 3D-printed layers more effectively, thereby increasing the reliability of the final part.
Briefs: Imaging
Ultra-thin and flexible metalenses could replace traditional camera lenses.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
“The disruption promised by Industry 4.0 has already begun,” says Jason Melcher from the aerospace manufacturing company Ingersoll.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A technique enables manufacturing of minuscule robots by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.
Articles: Packaging & Sterilization
Next-generation solar panels, 3D-printed composites from NASA, and a new way to sterilize medical devices.
Blog: Green Design & Manufacturing
The "polymer of squares” could one day enable the use of plastic products many times over.
Briefs: Materials
Research demonstrates the potential of a solar unit that can hang on the outside of a structure.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
RadiBond technology, based on nanometer-thin coatings, provides ultra-strong and ultra-tight bonding between metals and plastics.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Robotic exoskeletons, a breath-test for cancer, and plastic-eating enzymes are Products of Tomorrow.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The robot’s extendable appendage can wind through tight spaces and then lift heavy loads.
On-Demand Webinars: Materials

Use of thermoplastics can contribute to weight savings for exterior components such as body panels, spoilers, and exterior trim. Some applications present...

Blog: Materials
The RepelWrap inventors explain why their product is especially valuable as the world confronts a pandemic like COVID-19.
INSIDER: Materials

Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich succeeded in developing a material that works like a luminescent solar concentrator and can even be applied to textiles. This opens up numerous possibilities...

Briefs: Materials
This material could reduce persistent plastic accumulation in the environment.
Briefs: Materials
An environmentally friendly method upcycles carbon dioxide emissions into polymers and other materials.
Tech Talks: Materials
Advances in Thermally Conductive, Electrically Insulated Materials for E-Motor Applications

When plastics are used in electric components, the selection process examines mechanical properties, temperature capability, flammability, thermal conductivity, and moldability, as well as the need for electrical resistance to isolate the system...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
With accelerated time from design to production, specialized foil sensor arrays will be expanding to many new areas.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Empa researchers were able to demonstrate real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Real-time terahertz imaging with a single-pixel detector.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
InnoSenT introduced the IMD-3000 radar system as an alternative to pushbutton switches.
Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
See how a system feeds plants, delivering about 5,417 gallons of water per hour.
Briefs: Materials
Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic mini robot moves by magnetism and light.

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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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NASA Spinoff: Materials

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Technology Leaders: Energy

Supercapacitors Go Hybrid for Increased Performance and Efficiency

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Gas Biosensors “See” Through Soil to Analyze Microbial Interactions

NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Conducting the Heat