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.

Commercial buildings in the United States account for nearly 40% of the total energy consumption. Among them, electricity is the largest energy source for buildings....

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Removable Implant May Control Type 1 Diabetes

For the more than 1 million Americans who live with Type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are literally a matter of life and death. And while there is no cure, a new device may help manage the disease.

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...

Actuators are used in a wide variety of electromechanical systems and in robotics, in applications such as steerable catheters, aircraft wings that adapt to changing conditions, and wind...

USAF-96 Steel is a low-alloy steel that, when thermally processed with the method described here, has the following typical values: an ultimate tensile strength of 245 ksi, yield strength at 0.2% offset...

Walls often make up more than half of indoor surface area, especially in residential and office buildings. In addition to delimiting spaces, both for functional and...

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

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...

If digital transformation is a boardroom priority, why are companies so slow to transform product development? A reader asks our experts.

A 3D-printed smart gel that grabs objects and moves them could lead to soft robots that mimic sea animals like the octopus, which can walk underwater and bump into things without damaging them....

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
How Do You Feel About Back-Flipping Robots?

Have you seen the ‘Atlas’ humanoid robot running outside yet? Watch a demo of the Boston Dynamics technology on Tech Briefs TV.

Can metal 3D printing help automakers with more than just prototyping? It can, and it has, says our engineering expert.
Professor Paul Steen helped to create a beetle-inspired adhesive. Now it's about finding applications for it.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
What are your Biggest Manufacturing Challenges?

What parts of the design process are the most difficult? What information are you looking for now to help you with your job? Is there a specific technology area that can be challenging to find out the latest solutions for?

A stretchy material, modeled after squid skin, achieves thermal invisibility by reflecting heat.

Researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia fabricated an artificial device reproducing a 1:1 scale model of the blood-brain barrier, the anatomical and functional structure...

For the first time, researchers have shown that an optical fiber as thin as a human hair can be used to create microscopic structures with laser-based 3D printing. The...

Researchers have developed a novel strategy to control the shapes of polymeric materials by utilizing photoresponsive molecular switches. This could aid the development of an...

Polymeric aerogels are nanoporous structures that combine some of the most desirable characteristics of materials, such as flexibility and mechanical strength. It is nearly impossible...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will 3D Printing Get Past the Plastic?
If you think there’s too much hype surrounding 3D printing, perhaps that’s because you’re only thinking about plastic parts.

Large-scale liquid rocket engines with regeneratively cooled nozzles will enable reliable and reduced-cost access to space. The coolant that circulates through the internal...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Freeform Fabrication Using Electrically Conductive Filaments

The use of multifunctional composites such as mechanically reinforced, electrically and thermally conductive parts is of interest in a range of application areas. Especially interesting and important is where tailorability of function is achieved by strategic placement of materials...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Printing Ink Removes Oxygen in Sealed Packages

Oxygen adversely impacts food flavor and nutrition. NASA’s proposed five-year shelf life for astronaut food requires aggressive measures to minimize oxygen. Previously, NASA packaged foods in containers with a high oxygen and moisture barrier. These materials have limiting properties. They contain...

Soft robots inspired by nature can crawl, swim, grasp delicate objects, and even assist a beating heart, but none of them has been able to sense and respond to the...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Surface-Field-Enhanced Detection of Deep UV Photons in Silicon Carbide Avalanche Photodetectors

While silicon carbide (SiC) is an ideal material for building ultraviolet (UV) photodetectors, the absorbed photons get recombined in the first few nanometers at the surface due to a large absorption coefficient in the 200- to 250-nm wavelength band....

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New on the Market: May 2018
Assembly Pins

JW Winco, New Berlin, WI, offers GN 2342 RoHS-compliant stainless steel assembly pins with three washer types available that place the bolt in an axial position in its insertion direction. The...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Less is More Approach to Robotic Cable Management

In recent years, cable management has come into the limelight because machine reliability has increased dramatically, even though robots have grown more complex. Unfortunately, the...

Technology Leaders: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Understanding Smart Machines: How They Will Shape the Future

Powered by smart machines, the new industrial revolution is changing how machine builders design, and how manufacturers operate today and in the future. To remain competitive and...

This technology uses extracts produced from yeast transformed with a new anti-UV DNA construct to block ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

Trending Stories

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Briefs: Materials

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Articles: Energy

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

High-Power-Density Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Development of Vapor-Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal System

Videos