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.

Extremely fine porous structures with tiny holes — resembling a kind of sponge at the nano level — can be generated in semiconductors. A method was developed for the controlled manufacture...

Digital Variable Impedance Transducer

With its user-friendly new graphical user interface (GUI) for easier setup and connectivity, and cloud-based data access/monitoring, the digiVIT digital...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: September 2018 Tech Briefs

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North Kingstown, RI, announced a new release of HxGN SMART Quality software that combines connectivity, statistical evaluation, and resource...

A thin material was developed that can control the redirection and reflection of sound waves with almost perfect efficiency. While many theoretical approaches to...

Researchers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have demonstrated that deep learning, a powerful form of artificial intelligence, can discern and enhance...

Researchers have developed an inkjet printing technique that can be used to print optical components such as waveguides. Because the printing approach can also fabricate...

Facility Focus: Automotive
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

In 1977, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Golden, CO) started as the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), spurred by national concern during the 1973 oil embargo that caused long...

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...

A device and method have been developed to conduct compression and tensile tests on soft materials such as flocculated sediments, biopolymers, biological materials, and food stuffs. The device...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Microtesting Rig

The measurement of mechanical behavior in very small samples whose dimensions are on the order of microns and below can offer advantages over conventional macroscopic testing in many instances. Motivations for investigating...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Kinetic-Energy Penetrator Shielding and High-Wear-Resistance Materials Fabricated with Boron Nitride Nanotubes and BNNT Polymer Composites

In recent years, anti-penetration materials have been more widely used for armor, bulletproof vests, and micrometeoroid and orbital debris protection layers for space-suits, space vehicles, and...

Capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and converting it to useful chemicals such as methanol could reduce both pollution and U.S. dependence on petroleum products. Catalysts are used to bring...

Fabrics that resist water are essential for everything from rainwear to military tents, but conventional water-repellent coatings have been shown to persist in the environment and accumulate in our...

Briefs: Materials
Non-Toxic HAN Monopropellant Propulsion

A highly miniaturized, MR-143, green monopropellant thruster was developed for 1N thrust. Testing indicated the initial catalyst bed heater was insufficient. In subsequent development, the thruster was equipped with a more efficient catalyst bed heater. For reliable ignition of the advanced, non-toxic,...

Briefs: Materials
Melt-Cast Explosive Material

The Environmental Protection Agency has listed trinitrotoluene (TNT) as a possible carcinogen, and exposure to the material has been linked to disorders of the blood, such as anemia, and abnormal liver function,...

Briefs: Materials
Faster, More Efficient Information Processing

For decades, computer chips have been shrinking thanks to a steady stream of technological improvements in processing density. Experts have, however, been warning that we'll soon reach the end of the trend known as Moore's Law, in which the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits...

When it comes to the “smell test,” the nose isn't always the best judge of food quality. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, scientists...

Optics are employed in virtually every area of military operations, from vision systems and target designators used by troops on the ground, through guidance systems utilized in...

A next-generation X-ray beamline now operating at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) brings together a unique set of capabilities to measure the...

The ability to measure the electronic conductivity of battery film coatings is a pressing need in the battery industry; however, these measurements can...

Hybrid solutions that combine small photovoltaic (PV) panels with industrial grade rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries provide long-term power for remote...

Special Reports: Automotive
Lightweighting - September 2018

Demands for weight reduction and better fuel efficiency in the automotive and aerospace industries are driving design innovations and the development of new lightweight, high-strength materials. To help you...

Many manufacturers are relying on vision system integrators to implement machine vision. Our expert tells a reader how to find the right one for you.
Researcher Nikhil Gupta tells Tech Briefs why "exploding" a QR code inside a 3D-printed part makes counterfeiting practically impossible.
Question of the Week: Materials
A New ‘Moore's Law' for Smart Fabrics?

Instead of attaching semiconductors to fabric, an MIT team has found a way to add the technology right into the clothing fiber itself.

Instead of attaching semiconductors to fabric, an MIT team has found a way to add the technology right into the fiber themselves.

UCLA scientists and engineers have developed a new process for assembling semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to much more...

Georgia Tech researchers have created a sustainable plastic packaging material, using two ingredients you might not expect in a snack machine: crab shells and tree fibers.
Articles: Lighting Technology
Machine Vision Can Do More Than You Think

The ability to automatically extract information from digital images opens many doors for manufacturers striving to cut costs, improve quality, and streamline their processes overall. The primary...

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