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.

Products: Green Design & Manufacturing
Bioplastic Enclosures

OKW Enclosures, Inc. (Bridgeville, PA) is now offering its design-oriented standard plastic enclosures in a bioplastic material. This biomaterial is manufactured from renewable raw materials and is formulated to replace...

News: Materials
A Bio-Solar Breakthrough

An international team of researchers has developed a process that improves the efficiency of generating electric power using molecular structures extracted from plants. The system taps into photosynthetic processes...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Glovebox for GeoLab Subsystem in HDU1-PEM

The GeoLab glovebox was designed to enable the preliminary examination, by astronauts, of geological samples collected from the surface of another planetary body. The collected information would then...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modified Process Reduces Porosity When Soldering in Reduced Gravity Environments

A modified process yields lower levels of internal porosity for solder joints produced in reduced-gravity environments. The process incorporates both alternative materials and a modified procedure. The process provides the necessary cleaning action to enable...

Briefs: Materials
Three Dimensionally Interlinked, Dense, Solid Form of Single-Walled CNT Ropes

A 3D networked, dense form of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) has been made through isotropic shrinking of a gel-like SWNT-water paste by very slow evaporation. Approximately 35 g of Raw HiPco nanotubes were cleaned by the method of soft baking (250 °C for 15...

Briefs: Materials
Flexible Plug Repair for Shuttle Wing Leading Edge

In response to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board report, a plug repair kit has been developed to enable astronauts to repair the space shuttle’s wing leading edge (WLE) during orbit. The plug repair kit consists of several 17.78-cm-diameter carbon/ silicon carbide (C/SiC) cover plates...

Briefs: Materials
Use of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Covalent Attachment of Nanotubes to Silicon

The purpose of the invention is to covalently attach functionalized carbon nanotubes to silicon. This step allows for the introduction of carbon nanotubes onto all manner of silicon surfaces, and thereby introduction of carbon nanotubes covalently into...

Researchers in the University of Toronto's Department of Materials Science & Engineering have developed what they say are the world’s most efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on plastic....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Self-Healing, Inflatable, Rigidizable Shelter

Any manned missions to extraterrestrial locations will require shelter structures for a variety of purposes ranging from habitat to biomass production. Such shelters need to be constructed in such a way as to minimize stowed volume and payload weight. The structures must also be very durable and have...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improvements in Cold-Plate Fabrication

Five improvements are reported in cold-plate fabrication. This cold plate is part of a thermal control system designed to serve on space missions.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of a Kilopixel Array of Superconducting Microcalorimeters With Microstripline Wiring

A document describes the fabrication of a two-dimensional microcalorimeter array that uses microstrip wiring and integrated heat sinking to enable use of high-performance pixel designs at kilo - pixel scales (32×32). Each pixel is the...

Briefs: Materials
Highly Stable and Active Catalyst for Sabatier Reactions

Highly active Ru/TiO2 catalysts for Sabatier reaction have been developed. The catalysts have shown to be stable under repeated shutting down/startup conditions. When the Ru/TiO2 catalyst is coated on the engineered substrate FeCrAlY felt, activity enhancement is more...

Polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid has been proposed as a basis for development of improved proton-conducting polymeric materials for solidelectrolyte membranes in hydrogen/air...

University of Illinois researchers have developed a method to chemically etch patterned arrays in the semiconductor gallium arsenide - used in solar cells, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), field...

Water splitting in photo-electrochemical cells to yield hydrogen is a promising way to sustainable fuels. A team of Swiss and U.S. scientists have now made major progress in...

A research team funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research has pioneered the use of micro-plasmas in a revolutionary approach to illumination, and doctors Gary Eden and...

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED)-based displays are used in cell phones, digital cameras, and other portable devices. But developing a lower-cost method for mass-producing...

In order to lower energy costs, more and more homeowners are investing in insulation facades. But the typical insulation layers on the market have one drawback: they add bulk. The thick...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cryo-Etched Black Silicon for Use as Optical Black

Stray light reflected from the surface of imaging spectrometer components — in particular, the spectrometer slit — degrade the image quality. A technique has been developed for rapid, uniform, and cost-effective black silicon formation based on inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching at...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Correcting Thermal Deformations in an Active Composite Reflector

Large, high-precision composite reflectors for future space missions are costly to manufacture, and heavy. An active composite reflector capable of adjusting shape in situ to maintain required tolerances can be lighter and cheaper to manufacture.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Advanced CO₂ Removal and Reduction System

An advanced system for removing CO2 and H2O from cabin air, reducing the CO2, and returning the resulting O2 to the air is less massive than is a prior system that includes two assemblies — one for removal and one for reduction. Also, in this system, unlike...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vote for Product of the Year

Voting is officially open for the 2011 NASA Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year awards. You can cast your vote for one of 12 nominees featured this year as Products of the Month.

It’s that time of year when we ask NASA Tech Briefs readers to vote for the annual Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards.

Briefs: Materials
Molecular Adsorber Coating

A document discusses a zeolite-based sprayable molecular adsorber coating that has been developed to alleviate the size and weight issues of current ceramic puck-based technology, while providing a configuration that more projects can use to protect against degradation from outgassed materials within a spacecraft,...

Pyrite - or “fool’s gold” - has recently helped researchers at Oregon State University discover related compounds that offer new, cheap, and promising options for solar energy. These new...

As the market for liquid crystal displays and other electronics continues to drive up the price of indium — the material used to make the indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent...

As the sustainable design movement continues to grow rapidly throughout the US, architectural engineers, building product manufacturers, and construction business...

The new issue of Lighting Technology is here! Check out more new feature articles, application stories, tech briefs, products, videos, and research news - all on the latest advances in LEDs and solid-state...

A research team from Tel Aviv University is working on a solar panel composed of nano-antennas instead of semiconductors. By adapting classic metallic antennas to absorb light waves at optical...

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