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
Manufacturing Large Membrane Mirrors at Low Cost

Relatively inexpensive processes have been developed for manufacturing lightweight, wide-aperture mirrors that consist mainly of reflectively coated, edge-supported polyimide membranes. The polyimide and other materials in these mirrors can withstand the environment of outer space, and the mirrors...

A double-vacuum-bag process has been devised as a superior alternative to a single-vacuum-bag process used heretofore in making laminated fiber-reinforced resin-matrix...

Composite elastic skins having tailorable mechanical properties have been invented for covering shape-changing ("morphable") structures. These skins are intended especially for use on...

A family of glass/ceramic composite materials has been investigated for use as sealants in planar solid oxide fuel cells. These materials are modified versions of a barium calcium...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

With retirement of the space shuttle imminent, and the commercial space industry burgeoning, NASA is searching for safe and innovative...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Pulse-Flow Microencapsulation System

The pulse-flow microencapsulation system (PFMS) is an automated system that continuously produces a stream of liquid-filled microcapsules for delivery of therapeutic agents to target tissues. Prior...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automated Low-Gravitation Facility Would Make Optical Fibers

A report describes a proposed automated facility that would be operated in outer space to produce high-quality optical fibers from fluoride-based glasses, free of light-scattering crystallites that form during production in normal Earth gravitation. Before launch, glass preforms would...

Microscopic thermal-contact pads that include carpetlike arrays of carbon nanotubes have been invented for dissipating heat generated in integrated circuits and similarly sized single electronic...

Some wholly aromatic ether-imides consisting of rod-shaped, relatively-low-mass molecules that can form liquid crystals have been investigated for potential utility as electron-donor-type...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Techniques for Connecting Superconducting Thin Films

Several improved techniques for connecting superconducting thin films on substrates have been developed. The techniques afford some versatility for tailoring the electronic and mechanical characteristics of junctions between superconductors in experimental electronic devices. The techniques...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Versatile Friction Stir Welding/Friction Plug Welding System

A proposed system of tooling, machinery, and control equipment would be capable of performing any of several friction stir welding (FSW) and friction plug welding (FPW) operations. These operations would include the following:

Briefs: Materials
Making Activated Carbon by Wet Pressurized Pyrolysis

A wet pressurized pyrolysis (wet carbonization) process has been invented as a means of producing activated carbon from a wide variety of inedible biomass consisting principally of plant wastes. The principal intended use of this activated carbon is room-temperature adsorption of pollutant...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Solid Electrolyte Containing Li+- Conducting Fibers

Improved composite solid polymer electrolytes (CSPEs) are being developed for use in lithium-ion power cells. The matrix components of these composites, like those of some prior CSPEs, are highmolecular- weight dielectric polymers [generally based on polyethylene oxide (PEO)]. The...

Briefs: Materials
Electrically Conductive Anodized Aluminum Surfaces

Anodized aluminum components can be treated to make them sufficiently electrically conductive to suppress discharges of static electricity. The treatment was conceived as a means of preventing static electric discharges on exterior satin-anodized aluminum (SAA) surfaces of spacecraft without...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tool for Two Types of Friction Stir Welding

A tool that would be useable in both conventional and self-reacting friction stir welding (FSW) has been proposed. The tool would embody both a prior tooling concept for self-reacting FSW and an...

An improved method has been devised for using directed, hyperthermal beams of oxygen atoms and ions to impart desired textures to the tips of polymethylmethacrylate [PMMA] optical...
Briefs: Materials
SiC Composite Turbine Vanes

Turbine inlet guide vanes have been fabricated from composites of silicon carbide fibers in silicon carbide matrices. A unique design for a cloth made from SiC fibers makes it possible to realize the geometric...

Briefs: Materials
Thermoelectric Inhomogeneities in (Ag1-SbTe2)x(PbTe)1-x

A document presents a study of why materials of composition (Ag1–ySbTe2)0.05 (PbTe)0.95 [0=y=1] were previously reported to have values of the thermoelectric figure of merit [ZT (where Z = a2/??, a is the Seebeck coefficient, ? is electrical resistivity, ? is thermal conductivity, and T...

Membranes made of silanized alumina have been prepared and tested as prototypes of derivatized ceramic membranes that are both highly permeable to oxygen and hydrophobic. Improved...

Composites are becoming the material of choice for the manufacture of large, complex aerostructures. The aft section of the jumbo Airbus A380 and the wings of the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Covering a Crucible With Metal Containing Channels

In a procedure that partly resembles the lost-wax casting process, a crucible made of a brittle material (ceramic, quartz, or glass) is covered with a layer of metal containing channels. The...

Doped pyrochlore oxides of a type described below are under consideration as alternative materials for high temperature thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). In comparison with...

Today, a major thrust toward improving the thermomechanical properties of engine components lies in the development of fiber-reinforced silicon carbide matrix composite materials,...

Briefs: Materials
Patches for Repairing Ceramics and Ceramic Matrix Composites

Patches consisting mostly of ceramic fabrics impregnated with partially cured polymers and ceramic particles are being developed as means of repairing ceramics and ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) that must withstand temperatures above the melting points of refractory metal alloys....

Electrolyte additive 4-vinyl-1, 3-dioxolane-2-one has been found to be promising for rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. This and other additives, along with advanced...

Optimizing solution chemistry and the addition of titania and fumed silica powder reduces shrinkage. These materials would serve to increase thermal efficiency by providing thermal...

An improved method has been devised for fabricating micron-dimension Li features. This approach is intended for application in the fabrication of lithium-based microelectrochemical...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacture of Regularly Shaped Sol-Gel Pellets

An extrusion batch process for manufacturing regularly shaped sol-gel pellets has been devised as an improved alternative to a spray process that yields irregularly shaped pellets. The aspect ratio of regularly shaped pellets can be controlled more easily, while regularly shaped pellets pack more...

A process for fabricating thermoelectric modules with vacuum gaps separating the thermoelectric legs has been conceived, and the feasibility of some essential parts of the process...

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