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.

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...

A shape reminiscent of a dog bone has been found to be superior to other shapes for mechanical-amplification horns that are components of piezoelectrically driven actuators used in...

Briefs: Materials
CHEM-Based Self-Deploying Planetary Storage Tanks

A document proposes self-deploying storage tanks, based on the cold elastic hibernated memory (CHEM) concept, to be used on remote planets. The CHEM concept, described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles, involves the use of open-cell shape-memory-polymer (SMP) foam sandwich structures to make...

Briefs: Materials
Sequestration of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in a Polymer

Sequestration of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNs) in a suitably chosen polymer is under investigation as a means of promoting the dissolution of the nanotubes into epoxies. The purpose of this investigation is to make it possible to utilize SWCNs as the reinforcing fibers in...

Briefs: Materials
Foam Core Shielding for Spacecraft

A foam core shield (FCS) system is now being developed to supplant multilayer insulation (MLI) systems heretofore installed on spacecraft for thermal management and protection against meteoroid impacts. A typical FCS system consists of a core sandwiched between a face sheet and a back sheet. The core can...

Freeze tape casting is a means of making preforms of ceramic sheets that, upon subsequent completion of fabrication processing, can have anisotropic and/or functionally graded...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrophoretic Deposition on Porous Non-Conductors

A method of electrophoretic deposition (EPD) on substrates that are porous and electrically non-conductive has been invented. Heretofore, in order to perform an EPD, it has been necessary...

Modeling software is generally used to show the fields and flows that are impossible to see with the eye or instruments. A group of researchers has done just the opposite:...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rapid and Quiet Drill

The figure depicts selected aspects of the rapid and quiet drill (RAQD), which is a prototype apparatus for drilling concrete or bricks. The design and basic principle of operation of the RAQD overlap, in several...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hydrogen Peroxide Concentrator

A relatively simple and economical process and apparatus for concentrating hydrogen peroxide from aqueous solution at the point of use have been invented. The need for this or a similar invention arises for the...

Briefs: Materials
Strong, Lightweight, Porous Materials

A new class of strong, lightweight, porous materials has been invented as an outgrowth of an effort to develop reinforced silica aerogels. The new material, called X-Aerogel is less hygroscopic, but no less porous and of similar density to the corresponding unmodified aerogels. However, the property that...

Briefs: Materials
Nanowicks

Nanowicks are dense mats of nanoscale fibers that are expected to enable the development of a variety of novel capillary pumps, filters, and fluidic control devices. Nanowicks make it possible obtain a variety of novel effects,...

TUFROC (Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation- resistant Composite) has been developed as a new thermal protection system (TPS) material for wing leading edge and nose...

An anodizing process, at an early stage of development at the time of reporting the information for this article, has shown promise as a means of fabricating alumina nanotemplates...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fluorine-Based DRIE of Fused Silica

A process of deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE) using a fluorine-based gas mixture enhanced by induction-coupled plasma (ICP) has been demonstrated to be effective in forming high-aspect-ratio three-dimensional patterns in fused silica. The patterns are defined in part by an etch mask in the form of a thick,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mechanical Alloying for Making Thermoelectric Compounds

An economical room-temperature mechanical alloying process has been shown to be an effective means of making a homogeneous powder that can be hot-pressed to synthesize a thermoelectric...

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