Materials & Manufacturing

Browse innovative developments in materials and manufacturing that significantly impact military, medical devices, automotive, and industrial manufacturing. Advances in plastics, metals, and composites are transforming 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

Resistance welding with direct current (DC) using inverter technology reduces costs by improving quality, reducing maintenance, and increasing productivity. Switching from...

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: Electronics & Computers
Thermally Conductive Crystals Dissipate Electronics Heat

The inner workings of high-power electronic devices must remain cool to operate reliably. High internal temperatures can make programs run slower, freeze, or shut down. To address this issue, researchers have optimized the crystal-growing process of boron arsenide — a material that has...

Briefs: Software
Simulation Technique Models Material-Aging Process

The nation's aging infrastructure requires massive investment. Imagine if engineers could build structures with materials that do not degrade over time. A simulation technique was developed that could help engineers do just that.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Low Power Consumption for Data Recording

New phase change material was developed that has electrical characteristics that behave differently than those of conventional materials. This new material provides a drastic reduction in power consumption for data recording in nonvolatile random access memory (RAM).

Lithium-metal batteries — which can hold up to ten times more charge than lithium-ion batteries — haven't been commercialized because of a fatal flaw: as the batteries charge and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Modification of SURFICE Code

As part of the continued thermal support for the Space Launch System (SLS) program, MSFC is constantly developing or modifying software tools to aid in analytical efforts to solve thermal issues and problems posed by the project. In some cases, existing software used by previous heritage programs provides an...

An effective, non-invasive way of monitoring blood glucose could help both diabetics and those at risk of developing diabetes make the right choices to either manage the disease well, or reduce their...

Researchers have observed waves of atomic rearrangements, known as phasons, propagating supersonically through a vibrating crystal lattice — a discovery that may dramatically...

An increase in computing performance has been achieved by squeezing ever more transistors into a tighter space on microchips. This downsizing has also meant packing the wiring within...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Linear Resonators Make Electronics More Resistant to Damage and Defects

Mobile phones, tablets, and other portable devices are prone to failure caused by small defects in their complex electronics that can result from regular use. An innovation provides robust protection against circuitry damage that affects signal transmission.

Adhesives used for common pain-relieving bandages often do not stick properly when attached to places that encounter large, inhomogenous bending motion, like elbows and knees. To...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Advances in Spintronic Devices

Spintronic devices promise to solve major problems in today's computers, which use massive amounts of electricity to generate heat. This requires expending even more energy for cooling. By contrast, spintronic...

Briefs: Materials
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...

Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Reducing Weight and Design Time for Dream Chaser Spacecraft
Collier Research Corporation
Newport News, VA
www.hypersizer.com

With the go-ahead from NASA for a first mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the Sierra...

A new chemical composite could be used to store heat from the Sun during the day in a thermal battery, and release the heat when needed. A common approach to thermal storage is to use...

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

INSIDER: Materials
Future Robots Powered by Light

A novel actuating material – nickel hydroxide-oxyhydroxide –can be powered by visible (Vis) light, electricity, and other stimuli. The material actuation can be instantaneously triggered by visible...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Is It Important to Know How a Robot is 'Feeling?'

Talking about your feelings can be difficult. Now imagine if you’re a robot.

Question of the Week: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Which Superpower Do You Want Most?

Our latest episode of “Here’s an Idea” showcased a variety of technologies designed to give the human user a kind of “superpower”: a Spider-Man-like adhesive; an Iron Man suit; a Jet Pack; and (thermal) invisibility.

Engineers today are using their creativity to build a variety of superhero-like technologies that enhance our human capabilities, including exosuits, invisibility cloaks, and wall-scaling...

Laser-induced graphene (LIG) has been used to write graphene patterns onto food and other materials to quickly embed conductive identification tags and sensors into the products...

Briefs: Materials
Blocking/Deblocking Resin Systems

Similar to resin systems currently used in composites for aerospace structural applications such as toughened epoxies, this innovation is a modification to traditional resin chemistry to prevent polymerization and crosslinking of the resin when heated and pressed in an autoclave or other common resin curing...

Nanofibers are useful for any application that benefits from a high ratio of surface area to volume, such as solar cells that maximize exposure to sunlight, or fuel cell electrodes that catalyze...

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a wireless, open-circuit SansEC (Sans Electrical Connections) sensor that can detect the presence of chemicals without being in contact...

Polymer matrix composites are extremely attractive to researchers working on next-generation applications due to their lightweight properties and ability to withstand extreme conditions...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Molten Target Sputtering (MTS) Deposition

The sputtering process has emerged as one of the major deposition techniques for thin film coating practices in research and industrial production. The process is limited by low deposition rates and...

Stereolithography — a method of 3D printing — uses an ultraviolet laser controlled by a computer-aided design system to trace patterns across the surface of a photoactive polymer solution. The...

Articles: Materials
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...

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