Materials & Manufacturing

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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: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Thin film gas sensors are small, lightweight, and relatively easy to operate; however, the testing of these thin film gas sensors is difficult in harsh...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Diffusion-Bonded CVC SiC for Large UVOIR Telescope Mirrors and Structures

In 2012, the National Research Council called for a new generation of astronomical telescopes to enable discovery of habitable planets, facilitate advances in solar physics, and enable the study of faint structures around bright objects by developing high-contrast imaging...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Graphene is a relative to graphite, which consists of millions of layers of graphene, and can be found in common pencil tips. Since graphene was isolated in 2004, researchers have learned to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Optofluidic 3D Printing

Optofluidic three-dimensional printing enables advancements and innovation in optical fibers and biomedical devices. This 3D printing approach uses axial plane optical microscopy (APOM) technology.

Briefs: Materials

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) developed a foam-rigidized, inflatable, tubular space boom that can be transported, deployed, and inflated at remote locations. The lightweight...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a novel method for interim, in-situ dimensional inspection of additively manufactured parts. Additive manufacturing...

Q&A: Materials

Dr. Zheng and her team of scientists from Berkeley Lab and Nanyang Technical University in Singapore made metal-organic spongy photocatalysts that convert carbon dioxide...

INSIDER: Materials

Looking to nature for inspiration, scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Northeastern University have used carbon nanotubes to mimic the...

INSIDER: Energy

Electronics design is often limited by the shape of the battery – a critical, but frequently uncompromising product component. A new kind of battery conforms to meet the...

INSIDER: Materials

In the galaxy NGC 4993, located approximately 130 million light-years from Earth, two neutron stars collided. And, for the first time, scientists detected...

News: Materials

Conformal coatings like Parylene protect a variety of components, including LEDs, sensors, and circuit card assemblies. If a board component needs to be replaced, however, how easily can the...

INSIDER: Materials

A rubber “skin” developed at the University of Houston allows a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold temperatures. The semiconductor material supports new...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will "print-and-go" structures lead to printable robots?

As seen in this week's Tech Briefs TV video, MIT researchers envision many possibilities for devices that self-fold without external stimuli.

Briefs: Materials
Absorbent Polymer Reinforcing Fiber

Absorbent polymers can be used, for instance, to absorb hydrocarbons from an aqueous medium such as the absorption of oil from water. In some configurations, conventional absorbent polymers are contained within a permeable material; for example, conventional spill “socks” and booms can hold an absorbent...

Briefs: Materials
TiBor Skin Composite Coatings

TiBor Skin is a two-part technology that creates toughened, corrosion- and wear-resistant composite structures. The technology consists of coatings or surface materials for application on metals, plus methods of applying these materials. It also provides methods of integrating the applied coatings with their...

Briefs: Materials
Customizable Recyclable Launch Packaging

NASA is developing a sustainable in-space manufacturing ecosystem by providing both the capability to create 3D printer filament from currently used packaging material as well as the development of new, high-performance packaging architectures created with materials that are well suited for use in 3D...

Briefs: Materials
Self-Lubricating Hard Coatings for Extreme Environments

NASA’ s space goals include a permanent presence on the Moon and an expedition to Mars. The success of habitats and vehicles on the Moon and Mars — and ultimately, of the human exploration of and permanent human presence on the Moon and Mars — is critically dependent on the correct...

Briefs: Materials
Self-Healing, Self-Lubricating Tribofilm

Tribologists have developed a diamond-like film that is generated by the heat and pressure of an automotive engine. The ultra-durable, self-lubricating tribofilm — a film that forms between moving surfaces — can be made to develop self-healing, diamondlike carbon (DLC) tribofilms. The film generates...

Briefs: Materials

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a functionally graded metal-metal composite structure. The structure is created using a method that avoids deleterious reactions between the...

Question of the Week: Energy
Will we drive on piezoelectric highways?

Today's lead INSIDER story showcased efforts from Lancaster University to create road-ready piezoelectric tiles. The electricity generated from the ceramics (and the vehicles driving over them) could someday be used to power street lamps and traffic lights.

INSIDER: Materials

Researchers from Lancaster University are looking to pave the next generation of smart road surfaces — with piezoelectric ceramics. When embedded in road surfaces, the tiles...

INSIDER: Materials

A new mechanical innovation unfolded this month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a team of engineers built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Our lead INSIDER story today showcased a new Kapton-like material, developed by a team at Virginia Tech. The researchers hope that the 3D-printed polymer will support new applications,...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Kapton, a material used in electronics and aerospace applications, has only been available in sheet form. Researchers from Virginia Tech have found a way to 3D-print a polymer with Kapton's...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping

In the additive manufacturing process, leftover powder is often recycled for the next job. Do the raw materials degrade with time and exposure?

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping

By reducing size and weight, 3D-printed parts provide an opportunity to improve thermal control systems. So which major industries are leading the way and using additive...

Briefs: Materials

Researchers have made ultralight, highly porous, compressible, and heat-resistant sponge-like materials from nanoscale ceramic fibers. The highly deformable material...

Articles: Electronics & Computers

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...

Briefs: Materials
Water-Based, Recyclable Membrane Filters all Types of Nanoparticles

Separation technology is at the heart of water purification, sewage treatment, and reclaiming materials, as well as numerous basic industrial processes. Membranes are used to separate out the smallest nanoscale particles, and even molecules and metal ions. A new type of membrane...

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