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: 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...

Briefs: Materials

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...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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),...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tool Designs for Friction Stir Welding

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solidstate welding process that shows promise in the aerospace industry. A new system of experimentation has been used to quickly make and screen new tool designs. After conducting a literature review, friction stir tools were designed to optimize material flow around the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

NASA has investigated and demonstrated the simultaneous production of methane (CH4)...

INSIDER: Materials
Researchers Create Metallic Hydrogen

Nearly a century after it was theorized, scientists from Harvard University have created the first-ever sample of one of the rarest materials on the planet: metallic hydrogen. The atomic metallic hydrogen has a potentially wide range of applications, including as a room-temperature superconductor.

Question of the Week: Materials
Will metallic hydrogen improve transportation?

This week's Question: Today's lead INSIDER story featured the development of metallic hydrogen, a technology that has a range of potential applications, from advanced rocket propellants to room-temperature superconductors. According to the Harvard University researchers, the material could support...

INSIDER: Semiconductors & ICs
Researchers Awaken Graphene's Hidden Superconductivity

Since its discovery in 2004, scientists have believed that graphene contained an innate ability to superconduct. Now researchers from the University of Cambridge have found a way to activate that previously dormant potential, enabling the material to carry an electrical current with zero...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

A University of California, Riverside assistant professor has combined photosynthesis and physics to make a key discovery that could help make solar cells more efficient. Nathan Gabor is focused on...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers Spin Artificial Spider Silk

Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Karolinska Institutet has, step by step, developed a way of "spinning" artificial spider silk.

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers Design Lightweight, 'Stronger-Than-Steel' Material

A team of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has successfully designed a new 3D material with five percent the density of steel and ten times the strength. By compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, the sponge-link...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

HP, Palo Alto, CA, unveiled the HP Z2 Mini Workstation designed for users in CAD and other compute-intensive industries. The workstation is 2.3” high, and 90% smaller than a traditional business-class...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) developed Ultrasonic Stir Welding (USW) to join large pieces of very high-strength metals such as titanium and Inconel. USW, a solid-state weld process,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

NASA scientists have designed a novel heat treatment process that significantly improves the formability of high-performance aluminum-lithium (Al-Li) 2195 alloy plate...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a new composite vessel technology that is suitable for use as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel storage tank for alternative fuel vehicles. This...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a portable device to simulate low-velocity impacts on a material or structure. As composite materials are highly susceptible to damage caused by low-velocity impact, they...

Briefs: Imaging
One-Micron (1064-nm) Planar External Cavity Laser (PLANEX)

Ahighly reliable, very low-phase, and low-amplitude-noise laser is required as an oscillator for the LISA mission. A commercial product made by Redfern Integrated Optics met these requirements (1550-nm PLANEX External Cavity Laser), but it operated at 1.5 microns, not the required LISA...

NASA Spinoff: Aerospace

In 2007, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a call for a sensor that could equip a smartphone with the ability to detect dangerous gases and chemicals, Ames Research...

Articles: Software

3D printing has progressed over the past decade to include multimaterial fabrication, enabling production of powerful, functional objects. While many advances have been made, it still has been difficult for...

Briefs: Materials

NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) has developed a method for fabricating low-density, flexible aerogel composites for use as thermal insulation for myriad...

Briefs: Materials

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed a new method for producing a shock- and corrosion-proof, superelastic, intermetallic material, NiTiNOL 60 (60NiTi),...

Briefs: Materials

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System technology to industry. The Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System is a kit consisting of thin film...

Briefs: Materials

CHIEFS (Convective Heating Im provement for Emergency Fire Shelters) is being developed by NASA’s Langley Research Center to potentially improve the performance of...

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