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.

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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
New on the Market: July 2018
Coupled Inductors

Coilcraft, Cary, IL, offers LPD8035V Series miniature, high-voltage, 1:1 coupled inductors that provide 1500 Vrms and one-minute isolation (hipot) between windings. The inductors are...

Briefs: Imaging
Volumetric 3D Printing

While additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing, is enabling engineers and scientists to build parts in configurations and designs never before possible, the impact of the technology has been limited...

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have adapted a process to apply thermal and environmental barrier coatings using a unique combination of a plasma spray (PS) process and...

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have solved a longstanding problem that has been plaguing the scanning tunneling microscope for more than 35 years: How to prevent...

Application Briefs: Materials
Military Optics Technology

The demand for innovative solutions to enhance the safety of military personnel is continually on the rise. This includes the need to improve the performance of military vehicles and aircraft, in terms of both...

Facility Focus: Energy
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Established in 1943, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico was site Y of the Manhattan Project for a single purpose: to design and build an atomic bomb, which took just 27 months. The Los Alamos...

Particle analysis is useful for determining chemical compositions in a wide range of disciplines, from ascertaining the source of a petroleum sample to duplicating a fragrance. The technique is appealing...

Polymer membrane separators play a crucial function in many energy and water technologies including energy storage, hydrogen generation through water electrolysis, and...

Plastics are excellent thermal insulators — a quality that can be an advantage in some applications. But this property is less desirable in products such as plastic...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Biodegradable Microsensors for Food Monitoring

Microsensors are used in many different applications such as the detection of poisonous gases. They are also integrated into miniaturized transmitter/receiver systems such as RFID chips. Since...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nuclear Radiation-Detecting Device

A material was developed for nuclear radiation detection that could provide a significantly less expensive alternative to the detectors now in commercial use. Specifically, the high-performance material is...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Constant-Pressure, High-Throughput Membrane Permeation Testing System

Membrane technologies have shown tremendous potential for a variety of separations, and new applications are constantly appearing. These new applications require exploration of materials, operational conditions, and membrane synthesis procedures, and demand accurate and timely...

Technological advancements in materials, sensors, and computing have driven demand for higher-performance satellites. Satellites need to be much more capable in a much smaller size with a...

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: Green Design & Manufacturing
Protein Mat Soaks Up Chemical Pollution

Despite years of effort to stabilize proteins outside of their native environments, scientists have made limited progress in combining proteins with synthetic components like fibers without...

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...

Today’s high-resolution laser scanning confocal microscopes (LSCM), also referred to simply as laser scanning microscopes, are powerful high-magnification surface metrology instruments with...

A mere 20 years ago, machine vision system designers did all they could to avoid color imaging applications due to higher costs and greater system and software complexity. But as...

Researchers from Rice University are finding ways to use greater amounts of fly ash in an effort to build a “greener” kind of concrete.
Just because it's computer simulation doesn't mean it's virtual prototyping. Our expert explains.

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