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
Automatic Control of Arc Process for Making Carbon Nanotubes

An automatic-control system has been devised for a process in which carbon nanotubes are produced in an arc between a catalyst-filled carbon anode and a graphite cathode. The control system includes a motor-driven screw that adjusts the distance between the electrodes. The system also...

Experiments have shown that composites of a silicone elastomer with single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are significantly stronger and stiffer than is the unfilled elastomer. The large...

Briefs: Materials
Study of Rapid-Regression Liquefying Hybrid Rocket Fuels

A report describes experiments directed toward the development of paraffin-based hybrid rocket fuels that burn at regression rates greater than those of conventional hybrid rocket fuels like hydroxyl-terminated butadiene. The basic approach followed in this development is to use materials...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Thin, Flexible Heat Pipes

Flexible heat pipes of an improved type are fabricated as layers of different materials laminated together into vacuum-tight sheets or tapes. In comparison with prior flexible heat pipes, these flexible...

A method, now undergoing development, of forming nanochannels in planar substrates is intended to enable the fabrication of advanced fluidic devices that could be integrated with...

Semiconductor electronic devices and circuits based on silicon carbide (SiC) are being developed for use in high-temperature, high-power, and/or high-radiation conditions under which...

Briefs: Materials
Nonlinear Thermoelastic Model for SMAs and SMA Hybrid

A constitutive mathematical model has been developed that predicts the nonlinear thermomechanical behaviors of shape-memory alloys (SMAs) and of shape- memory-alloy hybrid composite (SMAHC) structures, which are composite-material structures that contain embedded SMA actuators. SMAHC...

One of the major challenges for NASA's next-generation reusable-launch-vehicle (RLV) program is the design of a cryogenic lightweight composite fuel...

Briefs: Materials
Formulations for Stronger Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell Electrolytes

Tests have shown that modification of chemical compositions can increase the strengths and fracture toughnesses of solid oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) electrolytes. Heretofore, these solid electrolytes have been made of yttria- stabilized zirconia, which is highly conductive for oxygen ions...

Some changes have been incorporated into a proposed method of manufacturing regular arrays of precisely sized, shaped, positioned, and oriented carbon nanotubes. Such arrays could...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Process Management for Test

Test is critical to the board manufacturing process. Effective test ensures quality and customer satisfaction both for the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and the CEM (contract electronics...

Rod/coil block copolyimides that exhibit high levels of ionic conduction can be made into diverse products, including dimensionally stable solid electrolyte membranes that function...

Briefs: Materials
Processable Polyimides Containing APB and Reactive End Caps

Imide copolymers that contain 1,3-bis (3- aminophenoxy) benzene (APB) and other diamines and dianhydrides and that are terminated with appropriate amounts of reactive end caps have been invented. The reactive end caps investigated thus far include 4-phenylethynyl phthalic anhydride...

Briefs: Materials
Liquid Coatings for Reducing Corrosion of Steel in Concrete

Inorganic coating materials are being developed to slow or stop corrosion of reinforcing steel members inside concrete structures. It is much simpler and easier to use these coating materials than it is to use conventional corrosion-inhibiting systems based on impressed electric...

Briefs: Materials
Less-Toxic Coatings for Inhibiting Corrosion of Aluminum

Two recently invented families of conversion- coating processes have been found to be effective in reducing or preventing corrosion of aluminum alloys. These processes offer less-toxic alternatives to prior conversion-coating processes that are highly effective but have fallen out of favor...

A novel class of polymer/clay nanocomposites has been invented in an attempt to develop transparent, lightweight, durable materials for a variety of aerospace applications. As their name...

Briefs: Materials
Functionally Graded Nanophase Beryllium/Carbon Composites

Beryllium, beryllium alloys, beryllium carbide, and carbon are the ingredients of a class of nanophase Be/Be2C/C composite materials that can be formulated and functionally graded to suit a variety of applications. In a typical case, such a composite consists of a first layer...

Thermal-insulation blankets of a proposed type would be exceptionally thin and would endure temperatures up to 2,100 °C. These blankets were originally intended to protect...

A temperature- and time-dependent mathematical model predicts the conditions for failure of a material subjected to multiaxial stress. The model was initially applied to a filled epoxy...

Briefs: Materials
Environmentally Safer, Less Toxic Fire-Extinguishing Agents

Fire-extinguishing agents comprising microscopic drops of water micro- encapsulated in flame-retardant polymers have been proposed as effective, less toxic, non-ozone- depleting, non-global- warming alternatives to prior fire-extinguishing agents. Among the prior fire-extinguishing...

Multiterminal carbon-nanotube junctions are under investigation as candidate components of nanoscale electronic devices and circuits. Three-terminal "Y" junctions of carbon...

Briefs: Materials
Scandia-and-Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia for Thermal Barriers

Zirconia stabilized with both scandia and yttria in suitable proportions has shown promise of being a superior thermal-barrier coating (TBC) material, relative to zirconia stabilized with yttria only. More specifically, a range of compositions in the zirconia/scandia/yttria material...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Thermal-Insulation Systems for Low Temperatures

Improved thermal-insulation materials and structures and the techniques for manufacturing them are undergoing development for use in low-temperature applications. Examples of low-temperature equipment for which these thermal insulation systems could provide improved energy efficiency...

A relatively simple silanization process has been developed for waterproofing or rewaterproofing aerogels, xerogels, and aerogel/tile composites, and other, similar low-density, highly microporous...

Briefs: Materials
Oxide Protective Coats for Ir/Re Rocket Combustion Chambers

An improved material system has been developed for rocket engine combustion chambers for burning oxygen/hydrogen mixtures or novel monopropellants, which are highly oxidizing at operating temperatures. The baseline for developing the improved material system is a prior iridium/rhenium...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Process for Fabricating Carbon Nanotube Probes

An improved process has been developed for the efficient fabrication of carbon nanotube probes for use in atomic-force microscopes (AFMs) and nanomanipulators. Relative to prior nanotube tip production processes, this process offers advantages in alignment of the nanotube on the cantilever...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Explosion Welding for Hermetic Containerization

A container designed for storing samples of hazardous material features a double wall, part of which is sacrificed during an explosion-welding process in which the container is sealed and...

Briefs: Materials
Burn-Resistant, Strong Metal-Matrix Composites

Ceramic particulate fillers increase the specific strengths and burn resistances of metals: This is the conclusion drawn by researchers at Johnson Space Center's White Sands Test Facility. The researchers had theorized that the inclusion of ceramic particles in metal tools and other metal objects...

An experimental investigation has shown that by (1) vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) of suitable refractory metal alloys on graphite mandrels, and then (2) heat-treating the VPS alloy...

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