Materials & Manufacturing

Materials & Coatings

Access the technical resources for a range of materials and coatings. Design engineers can browse news, technical briefs, and applications for plastics, composites, rubbers, elastomers, and metals.

The Partnership for Next Gen eration Vehicles (PNGV) is not a NASA initiative to develop powerful new rockets and spacecraft, even though it may sound like one. PNGV was a partnership...

Briefs: Materials
Adjusting Permittivity by Blending Varying Ratios of SWNTs

A new composite material of singlewalled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) displays radio frequency (0 to 1 GHz) permittivity properties that can be adjusted based upon the nanotube composition. When varying ratios of raw to functionalized SWNTs are blended into the silicone elastomer matrix at a...

Briefs: Materials
Polyolefin-Based Aerogels

An organic polybutadiene (PB) rubber-based aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection, exhibiting the flexibility, resiliency, toughness, and durability typical of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation...

Briefs: Materials
An Integrated, Layered-Spinel Composite Cathode for Energy Storage Applications

At low operating temperatures, commercially available electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries do not fully meet the energy and power requirements for NASA’s exploration activities. The composite cathode under development is projected to provide the required...

Briefs: Materials
Engineered Multifunctional Surfaces for Fluid Handling

Designs incorporating variations in capillary geometry and hydrophilic and/or antibacterial surface properties have been developed that are capable of passive gas/liquid separation and passive water flow. These designs can incorporate capillary grooves and/or surfaces arranged to create...

Platinum works well as a catalyst in hydrogen fuel cells, but it is expensive and degrades over time. Brown University chemist Shouheng Sun and his students have...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
'Nanoflowers' for Energy Storage and Solar Cells

North Carolina State University researchers have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (GeS) – a semiconductor material – that have extremely thin petals with an...

Bonding to aluminum can be a difficult task. Many engineers will search for a single and simple remedy in the form of a low-temperature adhesive for making structural joints without welding. A...

Briefs: Materials
Hybrid Filter Membrane

Cabin environmental control is an important issue for a successful Moon mission. Due to the unique environment of the Moon, lunar dust control is one of the main problems that significantly diminishes the air quality inside spacecraft cabins. Therefore, this innovation was motivated by NASA’s need to minimize the...

Ablative materials are required to protect a space vehicle from the extreme temperatures encountered during the most demanding (hyperbolic) atmospheric...

A long-term space mission requires efficient air revitalization performance to sustain the crew. Prefilter and particulate air filter media are susceptible to rapid fouling that adversely affects...

Briefs: Materials
Polyurea-Based Aerogel Monoliths and Composites

A flexible, organic polyurea-based aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection for government and commercial applications. The rubbery polyurea-based aerogel exhibits little dustiness, good flexibility and toughness, and...

Briefs: Materials
Imidazolium-Based Polymeric Materials as Alkaline Anion-Exchange Fuel Cell Membranes

Polymer electrolyte membranes that conduct hydroxide ions have potential use in fuel cells. A variety of polystyrenebased quaternary ammonium hydroxides have been reported as anion exchange fuel cell membranes. However, the hydrolytic stability and conductivity...

New and improved blocking filters (see figure) have been developed for microcalorimeters on several mission payloads, made of high-transmission polyimide support mesh, that...

Briefs: Materials
High-Thermal-Conductivity Fabrics

Heat management with common textiles such as nylon and spandex is hindered by the poor thermal conductivity from the skin surface to cooling surfaces. This innovation showed marked improvement in thermal conductivity of the individual fibers and tubing, as well as components assembled from them.

Briefs: Materials
Electrospun Nanofiber Coating of Fiber Materials: A Composite Toughening Approach

Textile-based composites could significantly benefit from local toughening using nanofiber coatings. Nanofibers, thermoplastic or otherwise, can be applied to the surface of the fiber tow bundle, achieving toughening of the fiber tow contact surfaces, resulting in...

Plastic-molded components produced by Diversified Plastics are currently speeding through space towards Jupiter aboard NASA’s Juno Space Probe. The craft was launched August 5, 2011, and...

Researchers creating electricity through photovoltaics want to convert as many of the sun’s wavelengths as possible to achieve maximum efficiency. For this reason, they see...

Briefs: Materials
Nanoengineered Thermal Materials Based on Carbon Nanotube Array Composites

State-of-the-art integrated circuits (ICs) for microprocessors routinely dissipate power densities on the order of 50 W/cm2. This large power is due to the localized heating of ICs operating at high frequencies and must be managed for future highfrequency...

Briefs: Materials
Polyimide Aerogel Thin Films

Polyimide aerogels have been cross-linked through multifunctional amines. This invention builds on “Polyimide Aerogels With Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure,” (LEW-18486-1), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 34, No. 8 (August 2010), page 38, and may be considered as a continuation of that invention, which results in...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Laminate With Coefficient of Thermal Expansion Matching D263 Glass

The International X-ray Observatory project seeks to make an X-ray telescope assembly with 14,000 flexible glass segments. The glass used is commercially available SCHOTT D263 glass. Thermal expansion causes the mirror to distort out of alignment. A housing material is...

Briefs: Materials
Asymmetric Supercapacitor for Long-Duration Power Storage

A document discusses a project in which a series of novel hybrid positive electrode materials was developed and tested in asymmetric capacitors with carbon negative electrodes. The electrochemical performance of the hybrid capacitors was characterized by cyclic voltammetry and a DC...

News: Semiconductors & ICs
Detecting Contaminants in Water

Many organic contaminants in the air and in drinking water need to be detected at very low-level concentrations. Research published by the laboratory of Prashant V. Kamat, the John A. Zahm Professor of Science...

Building on previous knowledge acquired through research on thin-film batteries, three-dimensional (3D) porous macroscopic...

Briefs: Materials
Enhanced-Adhesion Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes on Titanium Substrates for Stray Light Control

Carbon nanotubes previously grown on silicon have extremely low reflectance, making them a good candidate for stray light suppression. Silicon, however, is not a good structural material for stray light components such as tubes, stops, and baffles....

Briefs: Materials
Detection of Carbon Monoxide Using Polymer-Composite Films With a Porphyrin-Functionalized Polypyrrole

Post-fire air constituents that are of interest to NASA include CO and some acid gases (HCl and HCN). CO is an important analyte to be able to sense in human habitats since it is a marker for both pre-fire detection and post-fire cleanup.

Briefs: Materials
Ultra-Lightweight Nanocomposite Foams and Sandwich Structures for Space Structure Applications

Microcellular nanocomposite foams and sandwich structures have been created to have excellent electrical conductivity and radiation-resistant properties using a new method that does not involve or release any toxicity. The nanocomposite structures have...

Application Briefs: Materials
Thin-Film Tape Protects Mars Rover Wiring

A high-performance thin-film product created specifically for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, is being used to ensure the electrical currents from the Mars Rover Curiosity’s...

Techs for License: Materials
MothEye Non-Reflective Display Coating Kills Glare and Improves Contrast

Sub-wavelength nanostructures virtually eliminate glare and minimize reflection while enhancing contrast and light transmission to over 99% in the visible wavelengths. Sony Chemical has developed manufacturing expertise in this nanostructure coating, which is called...

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