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.

Briefs: Materials
In Situ Mechanical Property Measurements of Amorphous Carbon-Boron Nitride Nanotube Nanostructures

Utilizing the full mechanical capabilities of individual nanotubes is a primary research goal in nanotube reinforced nanocomposite materials. Practical use of these nanomaterials requires creating stable and strong linkages between nanotubes...

Briefs: Materials
Negative Dielectric Constant Material Based on Ion Conducting Materials

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a novel negative dielectric constant material based on ion-conducting materials. A negative dielectric constant material is an essential key for creating metamaterials, or artificial negative index materials (NIMs). NIMs have...

INSIDER: Materials
Non-Toxic Material Generates Electricity Through Heat, Cold Air

Imagine a body sensor powered by one's jewelry, or a cooking pan that charges a cell phone in a few hours.

Using a combination of the chemical elements calcium, cobalt, and terbium, University of Utah researchers created an efficient, inexpensive and bio-friendly material...

Researchers working at the Ultrafast Laser Lab at the University of Kansas successfully created a new bilayer material, with each layer measuring less than one nanometer in...

INSIDER: Materials
Researchers Find 'Golden' Idea for New Wearables

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a way to “grow” thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials. The discovery could lead to new wearable...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hot Isostatic Pressing of 60-Nitinol

The material 60-Nitinol (60wt%Ni-40wt%Ti) has a unique combination of physical properties, including high hardness, low apparent elastic modulus, and resistance to saltwater corrosion. These properties give the material tremendous potential for use in aerospace and defense-related components such as bearings,...

Over the past three years, NASA has been studying the operational effectiveness and astronaut protection efficacy of numerous radiation protection shelters for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vapor-Barrier Vacuum Isolation System

Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication, or EBF3, is a process that uses an electron beam gun, a dual wire feed, and computer controls to manufacture metallic structures for building parts or tools in hours,...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: March 2017

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...

JPL's Microfluidic Electrospray Propulsion (MEP) thruster design is based on a microfabricated electrospray system with a capillary-force-driven feed system that uses...

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

Historically, high-strength materials have been heavy and dense. The need for high-strength but lightweight materials has become more widespread when designing everything from vehicles and...

INSIDER: Materials
'Tougher-than-Metal' Hydrogels Support New Biomaterials

Scientists from Japan's Hokkaido University have created tough hydrogels combined with woven fiber fabric. The "fiber-reinforced soft composite" fabrics are highly flexible, stronger than metals, and can support a number of potential applications, including artificial ligaments and tendons...

Five-axis machine tools are computer-numerically controlled (CNC) machines that can move, cut, or mill a part on five different axes at the same time. Because of inherent...

Engineers and scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented mechanical metamaterials that transfer motion in one direction...

INSIDER: Materials
Light-Absorbent Material Keeps Buildings Cool

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a thin, flexible, light-absorbing material that absorbs more than 87 percent of near-infrared light. The technology could someday support the development of solar cells; transparent window coatings to keep cars and buildings cool; and...

Gears play an essential role in precision robotics, and they can become a limiting factor when the robots must perform in space missions. In particular, the extreme temperatures of deep space pose...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Damage Detection System for Flat Surfaces

NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Multidimensional Damage Detection System for Flat Surfaces technology. The ability to detect damage to composite surfaces can be crucial,...

Briefs: Materials
Methods for Intercalating and Exfoliating Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a number of materials and methods to optimize the performance of nanomaterials by making them tougher, more resistant, and easier to process. Glenn's scientists are generating critical improvements at all stages of...

Briefs: Materials
Method for Fabricating Diamond-Dispersed, Fiber-Reinforced Composite Coating onLow-Temperature Sliding Thrust Bearing Interfaces

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a method for fabricating a fiber-reinforced diamond composite coating on the surfaces of sliding thrust bearings at low and cryogenic temperatures....

Briefs: Materials
Enhanced Composite Damping Through Engineered Interfaces

Material damping is important in the design of structures as it limits vibration amplitudes, increases fatigue life, and affects impact resistance. This is particularly true for composite materials, which are currently used extensively in applications that experience frequent dynamic...

NASA's Langley Research Center is developing an innovative self-healing resin that automatically reacts to mechanical stimuli. Current structural materials are not self-healing, making it necessary to...

Briefs: Materials
Methodology for the Effective Stabilization of Tin-Oxide-Based Oxidation/ReductionCatalysts

NASA Langley researchers, in work spanning more than a decade, have developed a portfolio of technologies for low-temperature gas catalysis. Originally developed to support space-based CO2 lasers, the technology has evolved into an...

Briefs: Materials
Polymer-Reinforced, Non-Brittle, Lightweight Cryogenic Insulation for ReducedLifecycle Costs

The objective of this project was to develop inexpensive structural cryogenic insulation foam that has increased impact resistance for launch and ground-based cryogenic systems. Two parallel approaches were used: a silica-polymer co-foaming...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Use of Beam Deflection to Control an Electron Beam Wire Deposition Process

NASA Langley Research Center researchers have a strong technology foundation in the use of electron-beam (e-beam) deposition for freeform fabrication of complex shaped metal parts. While e-beam wire deposition is of interest for rapid prototyping of metal parts,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermal Stir Welding Process

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is developing an improved joining technology called thermal stir welding that improves upon fusion welding and friction stir welding. This new technology enables a superior joining method by allowing manufacturers to join dissimilar materials and to weld at high rates. NASA's...

NASA'S Langley Research Center has developed a new adhesively bonded joint concept for curved and flat panel sandwich...

Human susceptibility to the harsh space radiation environment has been identified as a major hurdle for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO)....

Human-occupied vehicles and autonomous vehicles such as rovers and landers may benefit from the fuel flexibility and high energy density of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs),...

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