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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Next-Generation MKIII Lightweight HUT/Hatch Assembly

The MK III (H-1) carbon-graphite/ epoxy Hard Upper Torso (HUT)/Hatch assembly was designed, fabricated, and tested in the early 1990s. The spacesuit represented an 8.3 psi (≈58 kPa) technology demonstrator model of a zero prebreathe suit. The basic torso shell, brief, and hip areas of the...

Briefs: Materials
Centrifugal Sieve for Gravity-Level-Independent Size Segregation of Granular Materials

Conventional size segregation or screening in batch mode, using stacked vibrated screens, is often a time-consuming process. Utilization of centrifugal force instead of gravity as the primary body force can significantly shorten the time to segregate feedstock...

Briefs: Materials
Ion Exchange Technology Development in Support of the Urine Processor Assembly

The urine processor assembly (UPA) on the International Space Station (ISS) recovers water from urine via a vacuum distillation process. The distillation occurs in a rotating distillation assembly (DA) where the urine is heated and subjected to sub-ambient pressure....

Next-generation high-temperature thermoelectric-power-generating devices will employ segmented architectures and will have to reliably withstand thermally induced...

The use of additive manufacturing technologies in aerospace applications has presented both opportunities and challenges. The ability to produce parts and...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Bismuth Passivation Technique for High-Resolution X-Ray Detectors

The Athena-plus team requires X-ray sensors with energy resolution of better than one part in 3,000 at 6 keV X-rays. While bismuth is an excellent material for high X-ray stopping power and low heat capacity (for large signal when an X-ray is stopped by the absorber), oxidation of...

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA’s Next Rover Features 3D-Printed Parts

The Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) Space Exploration Rover has roamed the Arizona desert, maneuvering the terrain as the wind and temperatures swing from one extreme to another....

Briefs: Materials
Microgravity Storage Vessels and Conveying-Line Feeders for Cohesive Regolith

Under microgravity, the usual methods of placing granular solids into, or extracting them from, containers or storage vessels will not function. Alternative methods are required to provide a motive force to move the material. New configurations for microgravity...

In a previous disclosure, the use of 60-NiTiNOL, an ordered intermetallic compound composed of 60 weight percent nickel and 40 weight percent titanium, was investigated as a material for advanced...

Briefs: Materials
Cu-Cr-Nb-Zr Alloy for Rocket Engines and Other High-Heat- Flux Applications

Rocket-engine main combustion chamber liners are used to contain the burning of fuel and oxidizer and provide a stream of high-velocity gas for propulsion. The liners in engines such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine are regeneratively cooled by flowing fuel, e.g.,...

News: Materials
Army Develops Stronger, Lighter Composite Materials

In the future, Army aircraft may be made of all composite materials, and the Prototype Integration Facility Advanced Composites Laboratory is ready. Part of the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center's (AMRDEC's) Engineering Directorate, the Prototype Integration...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Silicon Micromachined Microlens Array for THz Antennas

A 5×5 silicon microlens array was developed using a silicon micromachining technique for a silicon-based THz antenna array. The feature of the silicon micromachining technique enables...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Reduction of Silver Biocide Plating on Metal Surfaces

Silver ions in aqueous solutions (0.05 to 1 ppm) are used for microbial control in water systems. The silver ions remain in solution when stored in plastic containers, but the concentration rapidly decreases to non-biocidal levels when stored in metal containers. The silver...

Briefs: Information Technology
Flight Software Math Library

The flight software (FSW) math library is a collection of reusable math components that provides typical math utilities required by spacecraft flight software. These utilities are intended to increase flight software quality reusability and maintainability by providing a set of consistent, well-documented, and tested...

Muon tomography has been used to seek hidden chambers in Egyptian pyramids and image subsurface features in volcanoes. It seemed likely that...

Briefs: Materials
Conductive Carbon Nanotube Inks for Use with Desktop Inkjet Printing Technology

Inkjet printing is a common commercial process. In addition to the familiar use in printing documents from computers, it is also used in some industrial applications. For example, wire manufacturers are required by law to print the wire type, gauge, and safety...

Briefs: Materials
Enhanced Schapery Theory Software Development for Modeling Failure of Fiber-Reinforced Laminates

Progressive damage and failure analysis (PDFA) tools are needed to predict the nonlinear response of advanced fiber-reinforced composite structures. Predictive tools should incorporate the underlying physics of the damage and failure mechanisms...

Briefs: Materials
High-Performance, Low-Temperature-Operating, Long-Lifetime Aerospace Lubricants

The synthesis and characterization of six new ionic liquids, with fluoroether moeties on the imidazolium ring, each with vapor pressures shown to be

Briefs: Materials
Carbon Nanotube Microarrays Grown on Nanoflake Substrates

This innovation consists of a new composition of matter where single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are grown in aligned arrays from nanostructured flakes that are coated in Fe catalyst. This method of growth of aligned SWNTs, which can yield well over 400 percent SWNT mass per unit...

More than two decades ago, NASA started looking for a new way to keep astronauts comfortable in their space gloves. During a spacewalk, temperatures can range between 250 °F and -250 °F. One...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Phase Change Material Thermal Power Generator

An innovative modification has been made to a previously patented design for the Phase Change Material (PCM) Thermal Generator, which works in water where ocean temperature alternatively melts wax in canisters, or allows the wax to re-solidify, causing high-pressure oil to flow through a hydraulic...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Thermal Hogan — A Means of Surviving the Lunar Night

A document describes the Thermal Hogan, a new shelter concept that would be used on the Moon to moderate the extreme nighttime temperatures, allowing survival of equipment with minimal heater power. It is lightweight, has few mechanical parts, and would be relatively easy to deploy on...

A design of an Active Magnetic Regenerative Refrigeration (AMRR) system has been developed for space applications. It uses an innovative 3He cryogenic...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA Announces 2012 Inventions of the Year
Briefs: Materials
Nano-Ceramic Coated Plastics

Plastic products, due to their durability, safety, and low manufacturing cost, are now rapidly replacing cookware items traditionally made of glass and ceramics. Despite this trend, some still prefer relatively expensive and more fragile ceramic/glassware because plastics can deteriorate over time after exposure to...

Briefs: Materials
Preparation of a Bimetal Using Mechanical Alloying for Environmental or Industrial Use

Following the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act ban on their manufacture, PCBs remain an environmental threat. PCBs are known to bio-accumulate and concentrate in fatty tissues. Further complications arise from the potential for contamination of commercial...

Briefs: Materials
Phase Change Material for Temperature Control of Imager or Sounder on GOES Type Satellites in GEO

An imager or sounder on satellites, such as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), in geostationary orbit (GEO) has a scan mirror and motor in the scan cavity. The GEO orbit is 24 hours long. During part of the orbit, direct...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Advanced Materials and Fabrication Techniques for the Orion Attitude Control Motor

Rhenium, with its high melting temperature, excellent elevated temperature properties, and lack of a ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT), is ideally suited for the hot gas components of the ACM (Attitude Control Motor), and other hightemperature...

A proof-of-concept device is being developed (see figure) for hydrogen gas production based on water-splitting redox reactions facilitated by cobalt tetra-aryl porphyrins (Co[TArP])...

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