Materials & Coatings

Plastics

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.

Latest Briefs & News

Briefs : Materials
Bacteria-Fighting Polymers Created with Light

Hundreds of polymers that could kill drug-resistant superbugs in novel ways can be produced and tested using light. The new method may help identify antimicrobials for a range of applications from personal care to coatings.

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Imaging Innovation for Spinal Care

Motion capture (Mocap) is a technique used in the film industry to digitally track a human actor's movements and precisely transfer those motions to an animated figure. But it has other applications as...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Grand Prize Winner

INVISIBLE GLASS

Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) has developed a method for creating surface nanotextures that effectively...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Consumer Products Category Winner

ALUMINUM-POWERED ELECTRICITY GENERATION

Aluminum has an incredibly high energy density — double that of gasoline and an order of magnitude greater than...

Articles : Nanotechnology
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Sustainable Technologies Category Winner

AEROGELS FROM ENVIRONMENTAL WASTES FOR NOVEL ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS

Associate Prof. Hai Minh Duong and Prof. Nhan Phan-Thien, National University of...
Blog : Electronics & Computers
An Alternative to Air Conditioning: A Paint-On Polymer That Cools Down Your Building
A new solution, applied like paint, cools down rooftops, buildings, water tanks, vehicles, and even spacecraft.
Products : Motion Control
New Products: October 2018 Motion Design

Multi-Voltage Motors

Simotics SD Pro low-voltage motors from Siemens (Munich, Germany) are suited for mains-fed operation or with a converter for voltages up to 690 volts. There is generally...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
3D-Printing Light Receptors on a Hemispherical Surface

Researchers have 3D-printed an array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface. This discovery could lead to a “bionic eye” that could someday help blind people see or sighted...

Products : Software
New on the Market: October 2018

Temperature Transmitters

The Sitrans TH320/420 and TR320/420 WirelessHART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol) temperature transmitters from Siemens, Erlangen, Germany, are available for a...

Briefs : Materials
Bio-Renewable Process Creates “Green” Plastic

Plastics are often derived from petroleum, contributing to reliance on fossil fuels, and driving harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Briefs : Materials
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
The Ultimate ‘Smell Test’: Device Sends Rotten Food Warning to Smartphones

When it comes to the “smell test,” the nose isn't always the best judge of food quality. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, scientists...

Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
A New Way to Replace Plastic Packaging: Crab Shells and Tree Fibers
Georgia Tech researchers have created a sustainable plastic packaging material, using two ingredients you might not expect in a snack machine: crab shells and tree fibers.
Briefs : Materials
Fast, Low-Voltage Actuator for Soft and Wearable Robotics

The unique capabilities of soft robots are to bend, deform, stretch, twist, or squeeze in all the ways that conventional rigid robots cannot. Today, it is easy to envision a world in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Artificial “Blubber” Protects Divers in Frigid Water

When Navy SEALs carry out dives in Arctic waters, or when rescue teams are diving under ice-covered rivers or ponds, the survival time even in the best wetsuits is very limited — as...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Water-Repellent Nanotextures Possess Anti-Fogging Capability

Some insect bodies have evolved the ability to repel water and oil, adhere to different surfaces, and eliminate light reflections. Scientists have been studying the physical mechanisms underlying these properties found in nature and mimicking them to design materials for use in...

Articles : Defense
Air Force Research Laboratory

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, was formed in October 1997 through the consolidation of four former Air Force laboratories and the Air Force...

Articles : Energy
Products of Tomorrow: July 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...

Briefs : Materials
Reducing Moisture in Natural Fibers

Biological transformation focuses on the sustainable use of biological resources such as plants or microorganisms. In the future, it is expected to reduce reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal, or gas, and help tackle major challenges such as climate change and global population growth. It offers options...

Briefs : Materials
Recyclable Polymer Exhibits Practical Properties of Plastics

A polymer was discovered that possesses many of the same characteristics as plastics, such as light weight, heat resistance, strength, and durability. But the new polymer, unlike...

Articles : Motion Control
Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability

When engineer Mark Doyle started to put together plans for an exoskeleton to support surgeons in 2012, he wanted to develop a lightweight product that they could wear comfortably for...

Briefs : Materials
Precision CNT Cutting Mechanism

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a simple mechanism for the clean cutting of high-strength and high-toughness carbon nanotube/poly-mer fiber composites on demand without high blade wear or...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact Termination for Structural Soft Goods

Space environments are particularly harsh for the high-strength fibers NASA relies on for soft structures. Kevlar, Nomex, Nylon, and other synthetic fibers are broken down by exposure to the combination of vacuum, atomic oxygen, and ultraviolet radiation. Glass fiber offers unique advantages for...

Blog : Electronics & Computers
‘Invisibility’ Material Offers Thermal Camouflage
A stretchy material, modeled after squid skin, achieves thermal invisibility by reflecting heat.
Briefs : Materials
Method for Reducing Broadband Noise

Researchers at NASA’s Glenn and Langley Research Centers have developed a groundbreaking bio-mimicking acoustic liner for quieting noisy environments. Conventional approaches have not been able to absorb...