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.

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Glass Paves Way for ‘New Era’ of Photonics

For the first time, researchers have 3D printed a unique material that demonstrates optical transparency in the mid-infrared range: chalcogenide glass.

Blog : Transportation
Higher-Strength Plastics: How to Turn Polyethylene into ‘Transparent Aluminium’
Researchers created transparent polythene sheets that have a strength greater than aluminum – at a fraction of the weight.
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Woven into Clothing, 'Smart' Threads Sense Gases
The dyed threads change color when they detect a variety of gases.
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator

Fast-response, stiffness-tunable (FRST) soft actuators — or movable machine elements — were developed that could be used in soft robots.

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Transportation
Self-Lubrication Improves Standard Braking Systems

By mixing carbon fibers into polymer-based brakes, researchers designed brakes that are self-lubricating. These new and improved brakes can prevent wear-and-tear and have better frictional...

Briefs : Propulsion
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 : Materials
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants

Industrial machinery, agricultural equipment, transportation vessels, and home applications depend on lubricants; however, they leave a heavy environmental footprint. Common lubricants, oils,...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Thin, Durable Heating Patches

Thin, durable heating patches were created using intense pulses of light to fuse tiny silver wires with polyester. Their heating performance is nearly 70 percent higher than similar patches. The inexpensive...

Q&A : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Q&A: Texas A&M's Jaime Grunlan Creates a Non-Toxic Flame-Retardant Coating

Texas A&M professor Jaime Grunlan and his team are developing a new flame-retardant coating using renewable, nontoxic materials readily found in nature that could provide effective fire protection for several widely used materials.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Material Captures and Removes Toxic Atmospheric Gas

A metal-organic framework (MOF) material was developed that exhibits a selective, fully reversible, and repeatable capability to remove nitrogen dioxide gas from the atmosphere in ambient...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Using Common WiFi to Detect Weapons, Bombs, and Chemicals in Bags

Ordinary WiFi can easily detect weapons, bombs, and explosive chemicals in bags at museums, stadiums, theme parks, schools, and other public venues using a low-cost suspicious...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Fabric Alternative to Batteries for Wearable Devices

Wearable biosensors for health monitoring lack a lightweight, long-lasting power supply. A new method was developed for making a charge-storing system that is easily integrated into...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Rechargeable, High-Temperature, Molten Salt Battery

Growing demand for electric vehicles and more sustainable forms of transport means finding new forms of energy storage such as batteries, supercapacitors, and fuel cells. Currently, a major...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Plastic-Degrading Enzyme

Eight million metric tons of plastic waste, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, enter the oceans each year, creating huge manmade islands of garbage. Experts estimate that by 2050, there will be as much waste plastic in the ocean by mass as there are fish. A bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, can...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Metal 3D Printing for Complex Heat Exchangers
Renishaw
West Dundee, IL
www.renishaw.com

HiETA develops metal additive manufacturing (AM) methods for the production of complex, lightweight structures for heat management...

Briefs : Materials
Metallic Hollow Nanoparticle Fabrication

NASA Langley Research Center has developed new methods for fabricating hollow nanoparticles using dendrimer molecules. Dendrimers are used as templates to control the size, stability, and solubility...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Extrans Permeation Measurement System

Many applications in science and industry require an apparatus that creates a controlled amount of a fluid introduced into another fluid. For instance, some material corrosion testing applications...

5 Ws : Electronics & Computers
5 Ws of the Heart Energy Harvester

Who

Millions of people who rely on pacemakers, defibrillators, and other livesaving implantable devices powered by batteries that need to be replaced every five to 10 years.

Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Materials
Lockheed Martin Explores a Different Kind of Space for NASA
Protolabs
Maple Plain, MN
www.protolabs.com

Mankind first set foot on the Moon in 1969; nearly five decades have now passed. Today, NASA is developing the Orion...

Briefs : Materials
See-Through Film Rejects 70 Percent of Incoming Solar Heat

A heat-rejecting film was developed that could be applied to a building’s windows to reflect up to 70 percent of the Sun’s incoming heat. The film remains highly transparent...

Articles : Power
Organic Compound Turns Toxic Waste into Harmless Byproducts

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Polarization Imaging Sensor for Enhanced Scene Analysis

Along with intensity and color, polarization is a property of light that can provide useful information for scene analysis; however, the human eye and most cameras cannot detect...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Wear-Resistant Platinum Gold Alloy

From cellphones to satellites, industry spends millions on traditional gold alloy electrical contact coatings. While gold and other metal alloys have been an industry standard to protect metal components...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Transparent Test Patch Determines Food Contamination

A transparent test patch, printed with harmless molecules, signals food contamination as it happens. The patch can be incorporated directly into food packaging, where it can monitor the contents for harmful pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella. The new technology has the potential to...

Briefs : Materials
Virtual Test Laboratory

The mechanical properties of sheet metal materials are directional. Their deformation behavior and their strength differ significantly depending on the viewing direction; for example, in the direction of rolling, or...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Measurement Technique for Continuous-Wave, Modulated, and Pulsed Monochromatic Radiation

In many applications, such as remote sensing of atmospheric trace gases, monochromatic radiation with multiple discrete wavelengths is required. To date, there no instrument or technique that measures the wavelength jitters and fluctuations in real time.

Briefs : Aerospace
Nickel with Nanoscale Pores Has the Strength of Titanium and Density of Water

Titanium is as strong as steel but about twice as light. These properties depend on the way a metal’s atoms are stacked but random defects that arise in the...

Briefs : Materials
Self-Healing, Fluid-Inspired Material

Even tiny cracks can cause bridges to collapse, pipelines to rupture, and fuselages to detach from airplanes due to hard-to-detect corrosion in tiny cracks, scratches, and dents. A new coating strategy for metal self-heals within seconds when scratched, scraped, or cracked. The novel material could prevent...

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