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.

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping

NASA’s Technology Transfer Program is a true national asset. It brings together the space agency’s most capable problem-solvers with America’s brightest commercial and entrepreneurial leaders in partnerships...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Variable Power Handheld Laser Torch

A handheld laser torch was designed for welding and brazing metals to repair hard-to-reach space shuttle engine nozzles. It incorporates various...

News: Materials

Stanford engineers have invented a wireless pressure sensor that has already been used to measure brain pressure in lab mice with brain injuries. The underlying technology has such...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing

Stanford engineers have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into...

Articles: Materials

Most of us cannot comprehend the task of building something to withstand temperatures over 4,000 °F, but NASA can. The space shuttles endured such temperatures when returning to...

Articles: Materials
Shape Memory Alloys

Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) can be deformed at low temperature and recover their original shape upon heating. New alloys can operate up to ~300 °C, compared to ~80 °C...

Who's Who: Materials
Jeff Ding, Aerospace Welding Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Jeff Ding developed Ultrasonic Stir Welding (USW) to join large pieces of very high‑strength metals, such as titanium and Inconel. The solid-state weld process improves the current Thermal Stir Welding process by adding high-power ultrasonic (HPU) energy at 20...

News: Test & Measurement
Researchers Measure Stress in 3D-Printed Metal Parts

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed an efficient method to measure residual stress in metal parts produced by powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM).

The 3D-printing process produces metal parts layer by layer using a high-energy laser beam to fuse metal...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Microbot Muscles Self-Assemble and Flex

In a step toward robots smaller than a grain of sand, University of Michigan researchers have shown how chains of self-assembling particles could serve as electrically activated muscles in the tiny machines.

"We are inspired by ideas of microscopic robots," said Michael Solomon, a professor of chemical...

INSIDER: Materials

Particle physicists have a hard time identifying all the elementary particles created in their particle accelerators. But now researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Scientists have developed a high‑resolution magnetic line camera to measure magnetic fields in real time. Field lines in magnetic systems such as generators or motors that are...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design and Analysis of Metal-to-Composite Nozzle Extension Joints

Analysis, design, fabrication, and testing were performed to create a new joint design for potential use in attaching a domestically available carbon-carbon (C–C) nozzle extension to the turbine exhaust manifold of a J-2X engine. Various attachment methods were investigated for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modeling Laser Ablation and Plume Chemistry in a Boron Nitride Nanotube Production Rig

The future of manned and unmanned spaceflight and exploration depends on economical access to space through multifunctional, lightweight materials. Boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) composites offer distinct advantages for enhanced survivability during long-term...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Damage-Free Finishing of Silicon X-Ray Optics Using Magnetic Field-Assisted Finishing

Thin, segmented mirrors have been fabricated from monocrystalline silicon blocks. The material is economically viable, and is virtually free of internal stress because of its nearly perfect crystalline structure. The mirror surfaces will first be accurately...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Smart Crucibles and Heat Pipes

Near-net-shape vacuum plasma spray (VPS) forming techniques were developed to produce advanced components with internal features such as smart heat pipes and crucibles. The initial results demonstrated the ability to incorporate features such as channels and a porous layer within the wall of a smart crucible.

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2014 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2014 Create the Future Design Contest – sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., Mouser Electronics, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) – recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive/Transportation, Consumer Products, Electronics,...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Michael Zach, Anirudha Sumant, and Jonathan Moritz
EChem Nanowires
Stevens Point, WI

NanoFab Lab … In a Box!™ is a shoebox-sized kit that allows high...

Articles: Materials

Epoxies are versatile polymer systems that are “go-to materials” for electrical, electronic, and microelectronic systems, especially in applications where outstanding electrical insulation...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Engineers Harvest and Print Parts for New Breed of Aircraft

Student interns and engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center rapidly prototyped and redesigned aircraft using 3D-printed parts. The aircraft was custom-built by repurposing surplus Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). By lengthening the wings, the team was able to improve aerodynamic...

News: Nanotechnology
Solar Material Converts 90 Percent of Captured Light into Heat

A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also...

INSIDER: Transportation

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have invented a 2-in-1 electric motor that increases the range of electric vehicles. The engine integrates...

INSIDER: Test & Measurement

Because of the difficulty of monitoring turbine engines in operation, most manufacturers test turbine blades either after flight or rely on simulated tests to give them the...

News: Semiconductors & ICs
Researchers Develop Thinnest Electric Generator

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology made the first experimental observation of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), resulting in a unique electric generator and mechanosensation...

News: Semiconductors & ICs
3D-Printed Power Inverter Enables Lighter Electric Vehicles

Using 3D printing and novel semiconductors, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a power inverter that could make electric vehicles lighter, more powerful, and more efficient.

At the core of this development is wide bandgap material...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

Electronic devices with unprecedented efficiency and data storage may someday run on ferroelectrics — remarkable materials that use built-in electric polarizations to read...

News: Energy
Fast-Charging Batteries Have 20-Year Lifespan

Scientists at Nanyang Technology University (NTU) have developed ultra-fast charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 percent in only two minutes.

The new-generation batteries also have a long lifespan of over 20 years, more than 10 times compared to existing lithium-ion batteries.

In...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Underwater Robot Skims for Port Security

MIT researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened panel on one side that it can slide along an underwater surface to perform ultrasound scans.

Originally designed to look for cracks in nuclear reactors’ water tanks, the robot could also...

News: Electronics & Computers

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets. The...

Trending Stories

Briefs: Aerospace

Self-Healing, Recyclable, Shape Memory Polymers

NASA Spinoff: Materials

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

Autonomous Robot Opens Doors, Finds Wall Outlets

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Sensing Hazardous Gases Can Save Lives

INSIDER: Semiconductors & ICs

Smaller, Cheaper, and More Dynamic Computer Chips

INSIDER: Motion Control

Non-Contact Tip/Tilt Sensor

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