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: Materials
Tailoring Fiber/Matrix Interfaces Through Kirkendall Defects

In a proposed method of tailoring some of the mechanical properties of metal-matrix, oxide-matrix, and ceramic-matrix composite materials, Kirkendall defects (microscopic pores as described below) would be introduced into thin interfacial layers between the fibers and the matrices....

Briefs: Materials
Reducing Damage to Alumina Fibers in Metal-Matrix Composites

Coating alumina fibers with sputtered metal has been proposed as a means to enable the fibers to retain more strength when the fibers are incorporated into metal-matrix composites. If the alumina fibers could be made to retain more strength, then it would be possible to manufacture...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modified Wire Tie

A common self-locking plastic wire tie has been modified (see figure) to enable the installer to snap off excess tie material after installation, without need for a cutting tool and without creating a potentially hazardous...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Heated Weights for Adhesive Bonding

Heated weights have been found to be useful in adhesive bonding of clips, doublers, and other small parts to lightweight structures and structural components (e.g., face-sheet/honeycomb-core sandwich...

Briefs: Materials
Update on SiC Fiber/[MoSi₂-Matrix/Si₃N₄ Particle] Composites

A report presents updated information on the developments described in "MoSi2-Based Composite Materials for Aircraft Engines" (LEW-16617),NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 22, No. 9 (September 1998), page 62. To recapitulate: Hybrid composites of (1) SiC-based fibers within (2)...

Proton-conductive (solid-electrolyte) membranes made from sulfonated poly(phenylether sulfone), plus membrane/electrode assemblies containing these membranes, have been developed for...

Lightweight, monolithic ceramics that retain their shapes and strengths and resist oxidation at temperatures up to 1,200 °C have been invented. These ceramics are made of carbon, silicon,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Adaptable Drill Guide

The tool shown in the figure is a drill guide that can adapt to a curved or flat surface. The main function of the adaptable drill guide is to keep the axis of a drill perpendicular to the surface at the location of...

Electrodialysis has been shown to be an effective means for removing ammonium ions from wastewater without use of consumable chemicals and without adding other substances to the treated...

Rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells that contain anodes made from a mixture of graphite and carbon black have been found to perform better than do similar cells that contain anodes...

A computational methodology for predicting the initiation and propagation of failures in laminated matrix/fiber composite-material structures has been developed. The methodology...

Briefs: Materials
Program Predicts Uncertainties in Properties of CMCs

Probabilistic Ceramic Matrix Composite Analyzer (PCEMCAN) is a user-friendly computer program that predicts uncertainties in the mechanical and thermal properties of ceramic-matrix composite (CMC) materials. These materials are candidates for fabrication of structural components that will be...

A magnetostrictive linear-translation mechanism has been designed to function as a micropositioning device at any temperature from ambient down to the temperature of liquid helium...

Briefs: Materials
Magnetostrictive Filter-Wheel Drive

The figure shows a prototype of a magnetostrictively actuated mechanism that would rotate an optical filter wheel for a high-performance infrared camera or telescope. Typically, a high-performance infrared instrument and its filter wheel are operated inside a cryogenic system. In conventional practice, the...

A magnetostrictively actuated heat switch has been proposed for use in a variety of cryogenic equipment, including adiabatic-demagnetization refrigerators, calorimeters, and coolers for...

A proposed "kinematic inchworm"-type linear actuator would move a mass as large as 2 kg along rails, with lengthwise position controllable in increments as small as 50 nm. The actuator could be...

Research has shown that with suitable processing, one can produce a polycrystalline version of a terbium/dysprosium alloy suitable for use in a magnetostrictive actuator for...

Briefs: Materials
Extruding Tb/Dy for Magnetostrictive Actuators

A process that is undergoing development would be used to mass-produce textured polycrystalline rods of a terbium/dysprosium alloy for cryogenic magnetostrictive actuators. The rolling-and-heat-treatment process described in the preceding article yields a high degree of crystal orientation, but is...

An improved magnetostrictive valve for remotely controlling a flow of liquid helium has been developed. Heretofore, flows of liquid helium have been controlled by use of valves with...

Briefs: Materials
Separating Ethanol From Water Via Differential Miscibility

The differential miscibility of castor oil in ethanol and water would be exploited to separate ethanol from water, according to a proposal. Burning the separated ethanol would produce more energy than would be consumed in the separation process. In contrast, the separation of a small...

A process for the fabrication of a polycrystalline diamond membrane involves chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of diamond onto a silicon substrate, followed by conventional...

Briefs: Materials
Separating Ethanol From Water Via Differential Solubility

The differential solubility of sulfur in ethanol and water could be exploited to separate ethanol from water. The energy that could be produced by burning the separated ethanol would be more than that required in the separation process. In contrast, the separation of a small amount of...

Flexible thermal-insulation blankets made of ceramic fibers can be protected against weather and handling by attaching thin metal face sheets. In applications in which the blankets are exposed to...

Improved aerogel-based thermal insulation systems have been developed to provide cost-effective and easier-to-handle alternatives to various types of multilayer insulation (MLI) and...

Improved polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells can be made by any of a variety of processes in which cross-linked polystyrene sulfonic acid (PSSA) is...

Improved zirconium- and hafnium-based ceramic composites have been invented in an effort to obtain better resistance to ablation at high temperature. These ceramics are suitable for use...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Making Curved Diffractive Optics by E-Beam Lithography

Electron-beam (e-beam) lithography has shown promise as a technique for fabricating diffractive optical elements on nonflat substrates. Such optical elements could include convex or...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Integrally Wound Skirt for Composite-Overwrapped Tank

The skirt that supports a composite-overwrapped tank would be made an integral part of the composite overwrap, according to a proposal. In current practice, the structure that supports a composite-overwrap tank usually includes a layer of rubber between the tank and its skirt. The rubber...

A crimping technique has been developed for fastening polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) tubes of 0.032-in. (0.81-mm) outside diameter and 0.0105-in. (0.267-mm) inside diameter onto...

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