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
Hybrid Composite Cryogenic Tank Structure

A hybrid lightweight composite tank has been created using specially designed materials and manufacturing processes. The tank is produced by using a hybrid structure consisting of at least two reinforced composite material systems. The inner composite layer comprises a distinct fiber and resin matrix...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Nanoscale Deformable Optics

Several missions and instruments in the conceptual design phase rely on the technique of interferometry to create detectable fringe patterns. The intimate emplacement of reflective material upon electron device cells based upon chalcogenide material technology permits high-speed, predictable deformation of the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Zinc Oxide Nanowire Interphase for Enhanced Lightweight Polymer Fiber Composites

The objective of this work was to increase the interfacial strength between aramid fiber and epoxy matrix. This was achieved by functionalizing the aramid fiber followed by growth of a layer of ZnO nanowires on the fiber surface such that when embedded into the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Reliability-Based Design Optimization of a Composite Airframe Component

A stochastic optimization methodology (SDO) has been developed to design air-frame structural components made of metallic and composite materials. The design method accommodates uncertainties in load, strength, and material properties that are defined by distribution...

A plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) growth technique has been developed where the choice of starting substrate was found to...

Briefs: Materials
Nanoparticle/Polymer Nanocomposite Bond Coat or Coating

This innovation addresses the problem of coatings (meant to reduce gas permeation) applied to polymer matrix composites spalling off in service due to incompatibility with the polymer matrix. A bond coat/coating has been created that uses chemically functionalized nanoparticles (either clay...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Propulsion Design With Freeform Fabrication (PDFF)

The nation is challenged to decrease the cost and schedule to develop new space transportation propulsion systems for commercial, scientific, and military purposes. Better design criteria and manufacturing techniques for small thrusters are needed to meet current applications in missile defense,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Economical Fabrication of Thick-Section Ceramic Matrix Composites

A method was developed for producing thick-section [>2 in. (≈5 cm)], continuous fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). Ultramet-modified fiber interface coating and melt infiltration processing, developed previously for thin-section components, were used for the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process for Making a Noble Metal on Tin Oxide Catalyst

To produce a noble metal-on-metal oxide catalyst on an inert, high-surface-area support material (that functions as a catalyst at approximately room temperature using chloride-free reagents), for use in a carbon dioxide laser, requires two steps: First, a commercially available, inert,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Optimal Flow Control Design

In support of the Blended-Wing-Body aircraft concept, a new flow control hybrid vane/jet design has been developed for use in a boundary-layer-ingesting (BLI) offset inlet in transonic flows. This inlet flow control is designed to minimize the engine fan-face distortion levels and the first five Fourier harmonic half...

An involute-foil regenerator was designed, microfabricated, and tested in an oscillating-flow test rig. The concept consists of stacked involute-foil nickel disks (see...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Reducing Seal Adhesion in Low Impact Docking Systems

Silicone elastomers, used in seals for airlocks or other sealing surfaces in space, are sticky in their as-received condition. Because of the sticking, a greater force may be needed to separate the mating surfaces. If the adhesion is sufficiently high, a sudden unpredicted movement of the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Corrosion-Resistant Container for Molten-Material Processing

In a carbothermal process, gaseous methane is passed over molten regolith, which is heated past its melting point to a temperature in excess of 1,625 °C. At this temperature, materials in contact with the molten regolith (or regolith simulant) corrode and lose their structural...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process To Produce Iron Nanoparticle Lunar Dust Simulant Composite

A document discusses a method for producing nanophase iron lunar dust composite simulant by heating a mixture of carbon black and current lunar simulant types (mixed oxide including iron oxide) at a high temperature to reduce ionic iron into elemental iron. The product is a...

Eye on Innovation: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Back to Edison, Back to Innovation

Somewhere during the last 100 years or so, we have lost something critical — something that funded and inspired the inventions that propelled us into modernism and delivered luxuries we now take for...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2010 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2010 Create the Future Design Contest, sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., PTC, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs), recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and...

(Winner of an HP Workstation)

Digital Window Distributed Imaging Camera

Ellen Cargill, Peter Jones, and Dennis Purcell

Boston, MA

Scallop...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2010 Create the Future Design Contest Meet the Judges

COMSOL, PTC, and Tech Briefs Media Group thank the following judges for their participation.

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2010 Create the Future Design Contest Contest Sponsors
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2010 Create the Future Design Contest Grand Prize Winner
Salim Nasser
Merritt Island, FL

There are approximately 1.8 million manual wheelchair users in the United States, and that number is expected to grow at a rate of 10% annually....

BreezeRite Air Filtration Module Rob Luchsinger
Pipe Creek, TX

BreezeRite, an indoor air modular filtration system, attaches to new or existing ceiling fans,...

The development of more efficient thermoelectric couple technology capable of operating with high-grade heat sources up to 1,275 K is key to improving...

Briefs: Materials
Modeling of Alkane Oxidation Using Constituents and Species

It is currently not possible to perform simulations of turbulent reactive flows due in particular to complex chemistry, which may contain thousands of reactions and hundreds of species. This complex chemistry results in additional differential equations, making the numerical solution of...

Briefs: Materials
A Computer Model for Analyzing Volatile Removal Assembly

A computer model simulates reactional gas/liquid two-phase flow processes in porous media. A typical process is the oxygen/wastewater flow in the Volatile Removal Assembly (VRA) in the Closed Environment Life Support System (CELSS) installed in the International Space Station (ISS). The...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrochemical Hydrogen Peroxide Generator

Two-electron reduction of oxygen to produce hydrogen peroxide is a much researched topic. Most of the work has been done in the production of hydrogen peroxide in basic media, in order to address the needs of the pulp and paper industry. However, peroxides under alkaline conditions show poor...

Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and high-throughput manufacturing techniques for integrating single, aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs)...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process To Create High-Fidelity Lunar Dust Simulants

A method was developed to create high-fidelity lunar dust simulants that better match the unique properties of lunar dust than the existing simulants. The new dust simulant is designed to more closely approximate the size, morphology, composition, and other important properties of lunar dust...

Briefs: Materials
Lithium-Ion Electrolytes Containing Phosphorous-Based, Flame-Retardant Additives

Future NASA missions aimed at exploring Mars, the Moon, and the outer planets require rechargeable batteries that can operate over a wide temperature range (–60 to +60 °C) to satisfy the requirements of various applications. In addition, many of these...

Briefs: Materials
Straight-Pore Microfilter With Efficient Regeneration

A novel, high-efficiency gas particulate filter has precise particle size screening, low pressure drop, and a simple and fast regeneration process. The regeneration process, which requires minimal material and energy consumption, can be completely automated, and the filtration performance can...

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