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.

The same material that formed the first primitive transistors more than 60 years ago can be modified in a new way to advance future electronics, according to a new study. Chemists...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Circularly Polarized Microwave Antenna Element With Very Low Off-Axis Cross-Polarization

The goal of this work was to improve offaxis cross-polarization performance and ease of assembly of a circularly polarized microwave antenna element. To ease assembly, the initial design requirement of Hexweb support for the internal circuit part, as well as...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Flash Cracking Reactor for Waste Plastic Processing

Conversion of waste plastic to energy is a growing problem that is especially acute in space exploration applications. Moreover, utilization of heavy hydrocarbon resources (wastes, waxes, etc.) as fuels and chemicals will be a growing need in the future. Existing technologies require a...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultra-Low Heat- Leak, High- Temperature Superconducting Current Leads for Space Applications

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has a need for current leads used in an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (ADR) for space applications. These leads must comply with stringent requirements such as a heat leak of approximately 100 μW or less while...

Briefs: Materials
Regenerable Sorbent for CO2 Removal

A durable, high-capacity regenerable sorbent can remove CO2 from the breathing loop under a Martian atmosphere. The system design allows nearambient temperature operation, needs only a small temperature swing, and sorbent regeneration takes place at or above 8 torr, eliminating the potential for...

Briefs: Materials
Li-Ion Electrolytes With Improved Safety and Tolerance to High-Voltage Systems

Given that lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology is the most viable rechargeable energy storage device for near-term applications, effort has been devoted to improving the safety characteristics of this system. Therefore, extensive effort has been devoted to developing...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Aerogel Multifoil Protective Shielding

New technologies are needed to survive the temperatures, radiation, and hypervelocity particles that exploration spacecraft encounter. Multilayer insulations (MLIs) have been used on many spacecraft as thermal insulation. Other materials and composites have been used as micrometeorite shielding or...

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

The primary application for cryogenic insulating foams will be fuel tank applications for fueling systems. It is crucial for this insulation to be incorporated into systems that survive vacuum and terrestrial environments. It is hypothesized that by forming an open-cell...

Briefs: Materials
Sprayable Aerogel Bead Compositions With High Shear Flow Resistance and High Thermal Insulation Value

A sprayable aerogel insulation has been developed that has good mechanical integrity and lower thermal conductivity than incumbent polyurethane spray-on foam insulation, at similar or lower areal densities, to prevent insulation cracking and...

Briefs: Materials
Controlled, Site-Specific Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes With Diazonium Salts

This work uses existing technologies to prepare a crossbar architecture of nanotubes, wherein one nanotube is fixed to a substrate, and a second nanotube is suspended a finite distance above. Both nanotubes can be individually addressed electrically. Application...

Briefs: Materials
A Nanostructured Composites Thermal Switch Controls Internal and External Short Circuit in Lithium Ion Batteries

A document discusses a thin layer of composite material, made from nano scale particles of nickel and Teflon, placed within a battery cell as a layer within the anode and/or the cathode. There it conducts electrons at room...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Castable Amorphous Metal Mirrors and Mirror Assemblies

The use of mirror assemblies is commonplace in the aerospace industry, as most satellites and spacecraft contain optics. The fabrication of these mirrors is extremely complex due to the...

Products: Lighting
Machine Vision System

KEYENCE Corp. (Elmwood Park, NJ) has introduced the CV-X100 Series. New tools include Auto-Teach Inspection, as well as pointand- click measurement. The Auto-Teach Inspection technology automatically makes detections...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printing: A New Mindset in Product Design
What is 3D Printing?

The terms “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing” refer to processes that automatically build objects layer-by-layer from computer data. The technology is already...

Briefs: Materials
Non-Toxic, Non-Flammable, –80 ºC Phase Change Materials

The objective of this effort was to develop a non-toxic, non-flammable, –80 °C phase change material (PCM) to be used in NASA’s ICEPAC capsules for biological sample preservation in flight to and from Earth orbit. A temperature of about –68 °C or lower is a critical temperature...

Briefs: Materials
Soft-Bake Purification of SWCNTs Produced by Pulsed Laser Vaporization

The “soft-bake” method is a simple and reliable initial purification step first proposed by researchers at Rice University for single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) produced by high-pressure carbon mon - oxide disproportionation (HiPco). Softbaking consists of annealing...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Wide Operating Temperature Range of Li-Ion Cells

Future NASA missions aimed at exploring the Moon, Mars, and the outer planets require rechargeable batteries that can operate over a wide temperature range (–60 to +60 ºC) to satisfy the requirements of various applications including landers, rovers, penetrators, CEV, CLV, etc. This...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Reliability Waveguide Vacuum/Pressure Window

The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) uses commercial waveguide windows on the output waveguide of Ka-band (32 GHz) low-noise amplifiers. Mechanical failure of these windows resulted in an...

Technology has been developed for a class of self-contained, long-duration power sources called beta batteries, which harvest the energy contained in the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Magnetic Shield for Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerators (ADR)

A new method was developed for creating a less expensive shield for ADRs using 1018 carbon steel. This shield has been designed to have similar performance to the expensive vanadium permen dur shields, but the cost is 30 to 50% less. Also, these shields can be stocked in a variety...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technology Highlights from 2013 International CES
Tobii Technology
Tobii REX

Users of the Tobii Technology REX, a USB-connected peripheral, may want to be careful about rolling their eyes. REX, a device that...

Briefs: Materials
High-Temperature, Lightweight, Self- Healing Ceramic Composites for Aircraft Engine Applications

The use of reliable, high-temperature, lightweight materials in the manufacture of aircraft engines is expected to result in lower fossil and biofuel consumption, thereby leading to cost savings and lower carbon emissions due to air travel. Although...

Briefs: Materials
Treatment to Control Adhesion of Silicone-Based Elastomers

Seals are used to facilitate the joining of two items, usually temporarily. At some point in the future, it is expected that the items will need to be separated. This innovation enables control of the adhesive properties of silicone-based elastomers. The innovation may also be effective...

Briefs: Materials
High-Temperature Adhesives for Thermally Stable Aero-Assist Technologies

Aero-assist technologies are used to control the velocity of exploration vehicles (EVs) when entering Earth or other planetary atmospheres. Since entry of EVs in planetary atmospheres results in significant heating, thermally stable aero-assist technologies are required to...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Software Helps Visualize the Structures of Molecules

Hitoshi Goto, associate professor in Toyohashi Tech’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has helped develop and his lab is using original software-based tools to better understand a variety of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena at the molecular level.

The harmful properties of lunar dust, such as small size, glass composition, abnormal surface area, and coatings of imbedded nanophase iron, lead to a unique coupling of...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Development of a Centrifugal Technique for the Microbial Bioburden Analysis of Freon (CFC-11)

NASA Procedural Requirement 8020.12C entitled “Planetary Protection Provisions for Robotic Extraterrestrial Missions” states that the source-specific encapsulated microbial density for encapsulated organisms (div(0)) in nonmetallic materials ranges...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Advanced Materials and Manufacturing for Low- Cost, High-Performance Liquid Rocket Combustion Chambers

A document describes the low-cost manufacturing of C103 niobium alloy combustion chambers, and the use of a high-temperature, oxidation-resistant coating that is superior to the standard silicide coating. The manufacturing process involved...

Briefs: Materials
Using Pre-Melted Phase Change Material to Keep Payloads in Space Warm for Hours Without Power

Adding phase change material (PCM) to a mission payload can maintain its temperature above the cold survival limit, without power, for several hours in space. For the International Space Station, PCM is melted by heaters just prior to the payload...

Trending Stories

Briefs: Motion Control

Lightweight Crane Technology for the Moon

NASA Spinoff: Transportation

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Materials Capable of Self-Propulsion

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Military Optics Technology

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance