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.

Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) start-up Blacksmith Group launched a compact 3D printer that can also scan items into digitized models. Named the Blacksmith Genesis, this...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Chameleon-Like Material Changes Color on Demand

Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley have created a thin, chameleon-like material that can be made to change color — on demand — by applying a minute amount of force.

Type-II interband cascade lasers (ICLs) based on the GaSb material system represent an enabling technology for laser absorption spectroscopy in the 3-to-5-μm...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Developing Ceramic-Like Bulk Metallic Glass Gears

This invention describes systems and methods for implementing bulk metallic glass-based (BMG) macroscale gears with high wear resistance.

This invention creates bulk metallic glasses...

Instron, Norwood, MA, introduced the AVE 2 strain measurement system that conforms to testing standards such as ISO 527, ASTM D3039, and ASTM D638. The video extensometer utilizes patented measurement...

Over the last 25 years, some of the sophisticated technology developed for the HST has been successfully spun off and commercialized to improve life on Earth.

NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays
NASA Technology

NASA has sent more than a few robotic missions into space, but it never loses sight of its goal to enable human exploration of the cosmos. A core component of planning for...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Fiber for Solar Cells

Polymeric and inorganic semiconductors offer relatively high quantum efficiencies, and are much less expensive and versatile to fabricate than non-amorphous silicon wafers. An optical fiber and cladding can be designed and fabricated to confine light for transport within ultraviolet and near-infrared media, using...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Carbon Nanotube Tower-Based Supercapacitor

A new technology to create electrochemical double-layer supercapacitors is provided using carbon nanotubes as electrodes of the storage medium. This invention allows efficient transport between the capacitor electrodes through the porous nature of the nanotubes, and has a low interface resistance...

Rice University scientists have developed a two-­dimensional, atom­-thick, light-­sensitive material called CIS, a single­-layer matrix of copper, indium, and...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Customizing Visual 3D Optical Coatings

There are many ways to coat an optic and optimize the coating for a specific application, some more interesting than others. But any thin film coating process requires raw materials, coating...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
Paper-Like Material Boosts Electric Vehicle Batteries

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. The spongelike silicon nanofibers are 100 times thinner than human hair. The technology could be used in batteries for electric...

Many types of smart devices are readily available and convenient to use. The goal now is to make wearable electronics that are flexible, sustainable, and powered by ambient renewable...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
Glass as Electrode Makes Batteries More Efficient

Today’s batteries provide a reliable power supply for our smartphones, electric cars and laptops, but are unable to keep up with the growing demands placed on them. Researchers have...

INSIDER: Green Design & Manufacturing
Microcapsule Method Captures Carbon

Researchers has developed a novel class of materials that enable a safer, cheaper, and more energy-efficient process for removing greenhouse gas from power-plant emissions.

A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Mechanically Induced Nucleation Improves Crystalline Quality During Melt Growth of Semiconductors

For certain semiconductors with important applications, the existing bulk crystal growth technique from the melt usually results in poor-quality multi-crystalline ingots that cause the typically low yield of the commercial growth process. The...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of a Nanopipette Array for Biosensing

Development of biosensors is an active field due to a wide range of applications in lab-on-a-chip, diagnostics of infectious diseases, cancer diagnostics, environment monitoring, biodetection, and others. One of the strategies used for selective identification of a target is to preselect a probe...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Circuit Design Tool

Sunstone Circuits, Mulino, OR, announced DFMplus, a Design to Manufacturing tool that allows potential issues to be fixed in the PCB design phase. The tool helps users verify PCB designs before ordering. The tool features a preview of possible failure points, provides efficient transfer of design file data into manufacturing,...

Articles: Motion Control
Google Glass for Industrial Automation

A new concept uses Google Glass for operating machinery, with all of the benefits delivered by wearable computing in an industrial environment. With Google’s Web-enabled glasses, status or dialog...

Products: Test & Measurement
Computed Tomography Systems

JG&A Metrology Center (Detroit, MI) introduced increased flat panel sizes for computed tomography (CT) systems. Cone beam systems now utilize flat panel technology and scan parts up to 14" (350 mm) in...

Briefs: Materials
Modeling Transmission Effects on Multilayer Insulation

Recent experimental results within the NASA community have shown apparent degradation in the performance of multilayer insulation (MLI) when used in low-temperature applications, e.g., in liquid hydrogen tanks. There was speculation that this degradation was due to the appearance of...

Briefs: Materials
Woven Thermal Protection System

Woven thermal protection system (WTPS) is a new approach to producing TPS materials that uses precisely engineered 3D weaving techniques to customize material characteristics needed to meet specific missions requirements for protecting space vehicles from the intense heating generated during atmospheric entry....

Briefs: Materials
Innovative, Low-CTE, Lightweight Structures with Higher Strength

A series of lightweight (density below 2.0 gm/cm3) composites has been manufactured that have controllable properties. The core composite has been improved to provide higher strength (similar to aluminum), extremely low density, receptivity to exterior coatings, and...

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

Metamaterials, or artificial negative index materials (NIMs), have generated great attention due to their unique and exotic electromagnetic properties. A negative dielectric constant material, which is an essential key for creating the NIMs, was developed by doping ions into...

Briefs: Materials
Insulating Materials and Precursor Formulations, and Method of Forming

Methods were developed for forming an insulating material that combines a polysilazane, a cross-linking compound, and a gas-generating compound to form a reaction mixture, and curing the reaction mixture to form a modified polysilazane. The gas-generating compound may be...

Briefs: Materials
Selective Clay Placement Within a Silicate Clay-Epoxy-Blend Nanocomposite

The dispersion of a layered silicate into an epoxy matrix often increases the material strength and stiffness, but reduces resin toughness. This innovation is a method to selectively place organically modified clay within specific regions of an epoxy blend, where the clay...

Briefs: Materials
Zero-G Condensing Heat Exchanger with Integral Disinfection

A concept for a unique zero-g condensing heat exchanger that has an integral ozone-generating capacity has been conceived. This design will contribute to the control of metabolic water vapor in the air, and also provide disinfection of the resultant condensate, and the disinfection of...

David Blake developed the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument that is currently deployed on the Mars Science Laboratory rover...

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