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
Expendable Composite-Layup Dies From Rapid-Prototype Masters

A method that exploits rapid prototyping has been conceived to reduce the time and cost associated with the production of small quantities of composite-material parts that have complex shapes. In this method, mandrels and dies used in forming composite layups are sized and shaped by...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Punches and Dies for Rounding Corners of Metal Sheets

Punch-and-die sets have been designed for use in rounding corners of rectangular metal sheets to specified radii. One of the traditional procedures for rounding a corner on a rectangular...

Filled skutterudites have shown promise as semiconducting materials with superior thermoelectric properties at temperatures up to at least 650 °C. This finding is a breakthrough in a...

Alkoxides of lithium have been found to be useful as electrolyte additives to improve the low-temperature performance of rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. As...

Aliphatic esters have been found to be useful as electrolyte additives for improving the low-temperature performances of rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. The...

Ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC) has been found to be a suitable cosolvent, along with three other carbonate solvents, for incorporation into electrolytes to enhance the low-temperature...

Titanium disulfide has been found to be attractive as an alternative to graphite as the anode material in rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells that are required to operate at...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hermetic Wafer Bonding by Use of Microwave Heating

Microwave heating is the basis of a simple technique for quickly and gently bonding two metallized dielectric or semiconductor wafers to each other. The technique can be used, for example,...

Liquid and paste polyorganosiloxane formulations (which become high-temperature- and oxidation-resistant organosilicone-based ceramics upon curing) have been invented for use in (1)...

Briefs: Materials
Polyorganosiloxane Waterproofing for Porous Ceramics

Liquid waterproofing agents based on polyorganosiloxanes have been invented for use in treating porous, lightweight, fibrous ceramic thermal-insulation materials in both tile (rigid) and blanket (flexible) forms. Whereas silane-based waterproofing materials developed previously for this...

A technique for holding sensor lead wires in place on substrates made of SiC-based monolithic ceramic or SiC/SiC fiber-reinforced ceramic-matrix composite materials involves...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Polymeric Composite Materials for Dental Fillings

Composite materials that include combinations of metal oxide and silica nanoparticles in polymeric matrices have been invented for primary use as dental fillings, dental and bone adhesives, and the like. There have been previous efforts to develop polymeric replacements for the amalgam...

A thin polymer/metal laminate has been developed for use as an envelope material for lightweight heat pipes and heat-pipe radiators that operate at temperatures up to 360 K. The...

Briefs: Materials
Hybrid Composite Structures Made From Polybenzoxazole Fibers

Hybrid composite-material (fiber/matrix) structures of a proposed type would incorporate recently developed polybenzoxazole (PBO) fibers that feature high strengths and high moduli of elasticity and which can be made in much thinner sections than are possible with graphite fibers. The...

"Smart coatings" denotes a class of high-temperature-resistant, multilayer, thin (total thickness < 10 µm) films that contain predominantly planar layers of sensor circuitry...

Briefs: Materials
Aggregate-Search Approach for Planning and Scheduling

Several algorithms developed for use in automated planning and scheduling of sets of interdependent activities employ aggregation techniques to increase the efficiency of searching for temporal assignments that are legal in the sense that they do not violate constraints. In the...

Some success has been achieved in a development program directed toward improving the mechanical properties of electroformed copper-alloy structural components. Typical of such components are...

Briefs: Materials
Foaming in Place for Outer-Space Applications

A report discusses the adaptation of foaming-in-place techniques and materials to outer-space applications. Foaming in place is used commercially in terrestrial sealing, insulating, bonding, and retrofitting applications. The room-temperature outer-space versions of foaming in place are...

An arc-welding technique for repair of a directionally solidified (DS) nickel-base superalloy article (e.g., a turbine blade or vane) has been devised. The technique equally is...

Metal-supported catalyst beds with improved thermal and flow characteristics for promoting endothermic chemical reactions are undergoing development. In the proposed original...

In catalytic flow-through chemical reactors being explored for space vehicle applications, the catalysts would be supported on the surfaces of wires, instead of on particles, as are typically used...

In an extension of the concept reported in the preceding article, catalytic flow-through chemical reactors of a proposed type would contain catalyst-coated microtubes, possibly in combination...

A process for making precise, high-quality curved or flat mirror surfaces on bare aluminum substrates has been devised. The process consists of (1) diamond turning to establish the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
External Adhesive Pressure-Wall Patch

A mechanical device has been developed for applying an adhesive patch, from the outside, to the wall of a spacecraft module that has lost pressure because of penetration by a meteoroid or a piece of orbital debris. This device will make it possible to seal and re-pressurize the affected module during space...

Briefs: Materials
High-Performance POSS-Modified Polymeric Composites

Epoxies and/or cyanate esters that incorporate polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) compounds are undergoing development at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). These formulations are expected to be useful as high-performance matrix resins for advanced, lightweight fiber/matrix...

Briefs: Materials
Model Simulates Semi-Solid Material Processing

David Spencer (MIT) developed semi-solid material processing through an accidental observation he made while dealing with the processing of metals in their mushy state. The semi-solid material process basically consists of two stages: pre-processing and processing. During pre-processing, the...

Briefs: Materials
Modular Cryogenic Insulation

"Modular cryogenic insulation" denotes a chaff for installation in the partially evacuated annular spaces between the inner and outer walls of tanks used to store and transport liquid nitrogen and other cryogenic liquids. The insulating chaff was developed to replace low-density powders (e.g., perlite, silica...

Briefs: Materials
Model Simulates Semi-Solid Material Processing

David Spencer (MIT) developed semi-solid material processing through an accidental observation he made while dealing with the processing of metals in their mushy state. The semi-solid material process basically consists of two stages: pre-processing and processing. During pre-processing, the...

A method of packaging now under development would afford improved protection and functionality for miniature immersible diagnostic systems (MIDS). The method involves covering a...

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