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
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...

Articles: Materials

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...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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
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...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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])...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Garrett Finney moved the office coffeemaker into the full-size, cardboard mockup of the new trailer he was designing. The need for caffeine — and the threat of hot coffee accidentally...

Briefs: Materials
Self-Healing Nanocomposites for Reusable Composite Cryotanks

Composite cryotanks, or composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), offer advantages over currently used aluminum- lithium cryotanks, particularly with respect to weight savings. Future NASA missions are expected to use COPVs in spaceflight propellant tanks to store fuels,...

Briefs: Materials
Ceramic Adhesive and Methods for On-Orbit Repair of Re-Entry Vehicles

This adhesive is capable of repairing damaged leading edge components of re-entry vehicles while in space, and is novel with regard to its ability to be applied in the vacuum of space, and in a microgravity environment. Once applied, the adhesive provides thermal and oxidation...

Briefs: Materials
Aerogel-Based Multilayer Insulation With Micrometeoroid Protection

Ultra-low-density, highly hydrophobic, fiber-reinforced aerogel material integrated with MLI (aluminized Mylar reflectors and B4A Dacron separators) offers a highly effective insulation package by providing unsurpassed thermal performance and significant robustness, delivering...

Briefs: Materials
Pt-Ni and Pt-Co Catalyst Synthesis Route for Fuel Cell Applications

Oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) at the cathode are the rate-limiting step in fuel cell performance. The ORR is 100 times slower than the corresponding hydrogen oxidation at the anode. Speeding up the reaction at the cathode will improve fuel cell efficiency.

Briefs: Materials
Multi-scale CNT-Based Reinforcing Polymer Matrix Composites for Lightweight Structures

Reinforcing critical areas in carbon polymer matrix composites (PMCs), also known as fiber reinforced composites (FRCs), is advantageous for structural durability. Since carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have extremely high tensile strength, they can be used as a...

Briefs: Materials
Manufacturing of Nanocomposite Carbon Fibers and Composite Cylinders

Pitch-based nanocomposite carbon fibers were prepared with various percentages of carbon nanofibers (CNFs), and the fibers were used for manufacturing composite structures. Experimental results show that these nanocomposite carbon fibers exhibit improved structural and...

News: Materials
Engineers Create Material for High-Performance 'Supercapacitor'

Taking a significant step toward improving the power delivery of systems ranging from urban electrical grids to regenerative braking in hybrid vehicles, researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have synthesized a material that shows high...

INSIDER: Materials

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...

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