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.

Dr. William Farrell, a scientist with the Lunar Exploration Program at Goddard Space Flight Center, is an expert on the problem of lunar dust and its effects on astronauts and...

A continuing effort to develop carbon- nanotube-based field emitters (cold cathodes) as high-current-density electron sources has yielded an optimized device...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Eye On Innovation
By Dr. Udo Ungeheuer
Chairman of the Board
of Management
SCHOTT
Mainz, Germany

Many people consider the printing press developed here in Mainz, Germany, near the headquarters of SCHOTT, the...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2007 NASA Tech Briefs "Create the Future" Design Contest

This year's sixth annual NASA Tech Briefs' "Create the Future" design contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp., recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Safety & Security, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Sustainable Technologies, and...

Personnel Beacon/Locator for Mine Workers Joseph Hollmann
Spectral Biopsy
Kansas City, MO

When trapped, miners are instructed to create noise by...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Meet the Judges, "Create the Future" 2007 Design Contest
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Contest Sponsors, "Create the Future" 2007 Design Contest
Litroenergy™, a New Light Source Material Steve Stark
MPK Co.
Champlin, MN

A patent-pending light source material, Litroenergy™ contains self-luminous micro...

LED Cocoon Tent Stephen Boynton Orem, UT

Outdoor camping tents have used the zipper as the solution to opening and closing the tent since the zipper was...

Efforts are underway to develop inexpensive, low-power electronic sensors, based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), for measuring part-per-million and part-per-billion of...

An alternative to the conventional approach to synthesis of polyimides involves the use of single monomers that are amenable to photopolymerization. Heretofore, the synthesis of polyimides has involved...

A process for hydroxide-assisted bonding has been developed as a means of joining optical components made of ultra-low-expansion (ULE) glass, while maintaining sufficiently precise...

Briefs: Materials
Optimized Carbonate and Ester-Based Li-Ion Electrolytes

To maintain high conductivity in low temperatures, electrolyte co-solvents have been designed to have a high dielectric constant, low viscosity, adequate coordination behavior, and appropriate liquid ranges and salt solubilities. Electrolytes that contain ester-based co-solvents in large...

G3 Genuine Guide Gear (G3) of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a specialized manufacturer of backcountry ski and safety equipment — including telemark bindings and...

LiCoPO4 has been found to be a promising active cathode material for high-energy-density, thin-film, rechargeable electrochemical power cells. The potential of the charge/discharge...

Work output is comparable to conventional SMA alloys but with transition temperatures significantly exceeding those of conventional materials.

Compositions and production processes have...

A proposed method of design and fabrication of vacuum-packaged microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and of individual microelectromechanical devices involves the use of multiple...

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is a new class of surgical procedures in which the operation is performed with surgical instruments inserted through small incisions in the...

Combinatorial experiments have led to the discovery that a nanophase alloy of Pt, Ru, Ni, and Zr is effective as an anode catalyst material for direct methanol fuel cells. This...

Atomization of a molten mixture of BaF2 and CaF2 has been found to be superior to crushing of bulk solid BaF2- CaF2 as a means of...

Nanophase nickel- zirconium alloys have been investigated for use as electrically conductive coatings and catalyst supports in fuel cells. Heretofore, noble metals have been used because they...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Patterning of Indium Tin Oxide Films

A relatively rapid, economical process has been devised for patterning a thin film of indium tin oxide (ITO) that has been deposited on a polyester film. ITO is a transparent, electrically conductive...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Gimballed Shoulders for Friction Stir Welding

In a proposed improvement of tooling for friction stir welding, gimballed shoulders would supplant shoulders that, heretofore, have been fixedly aligned with pins. The proposal is especially...

Pellets made of a high-surface-area composite of silica and titania have shown promise as means of removing elemental mercury from flue gases. With further technical development...

Briefs: Materials
Lightweight Tanks for Storing Liquefied Natural Gas

Single-walled, jacketed aluminum tanks have been conceived for storing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in LNG-fueled motor vehicles. Heretofore, double- wall steel tanks with vacuum between the inner and outer walls have been used for storing LNG. In comparison with the vacuum-insulated steel...

Briefs: Materials
Hybrid Wound Filaments for Greater Resistance to Impacts

The immediately preceding article includes an example in which a composite overwrap on a pressure vessel contains wound filaments made of a hybrid of high-strength carbon fibers and poly(phenylene benzobisoxazole) [PBO] fibers. This hybrid material is chosen in an effort to increase the...

Briefs: Materials
Making High-Tensile-Strength Amalgam Components

Structural components made of amalgams can be made to have tensile strengths much greater than previously known to be possible. Amalgams, perhaps best known for their use in dental fillings, have several useful attributes, including room- temperature fabrication, corrosion resistance, dimensional...

A simple, inexpensive method for bonding solid objects exploits hydroxidecatalyzed hydration and dehydration to form silicatelike networks in thin surface and interfacial layers...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Creep Forming of Carbon-Reinforced Ceramic-Matrix Composites

A set of lecture slides describes an investigation of creep forming as a means of imparting desired curvatures to initially flat stock plates of carbon-reinforced ceramic-matrix composite (C-CMC) materials. The investigation is apparently part of a continuing effort to develop improved...

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