Materials & Manufacturing

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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
Improved Low-Temperature Performance of Li-Ion Cells Using New Electrolytes

As part of the continuing efforts to develop advanced electrolytes to improve the performance of lithiumion cells, especially at low temperatures, a number of electrolyte formulations have been developed that result in improved low-temperature performance (down to –60...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Some modifications that could be made, separately or together, have been conceived as improvements of the generic design of a structure of the type described in “Hybrid Inflatable...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrostatic Separator for Beneficiation of Lunar Soil

A charge separator has been constructed for use in a lunar environment that will allow for separation of minerals from lunar soil. Any future lunar base and habitat must be constructed from strong, dense materials to provide for thermal and radiation protection. It has been proposed that...

Briefs: Materials
Wider-Opening Dewar Flasks for Cryogenic Storage

Dewar flasks have been proposed as containers for relatively long-term (25 days) storage of perishable scientific samples or other perishable objects at a temperature of –175 °C. The refrigeration would be maintained through slow boiling of liquid nitrogen (LN2). For the purposes of...

Briefs: Materials
Supercapacitor Electrolyte Solvents With Liquid Range Below –80 °C

A previous NASA Tech Brief [“Low-Temperature Supercapacitors” (NPO-44386) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 32, No 7 (July 2008), page 32] detailed ongoing efforts to develop non-aqueous supercapacitor electrolytes capable of supporting operation at temperatures below commercially...

Briefs: Materials
Silicon Oxycarbide Aerogels for High-Temperature Thermal Insulation

A high-performance, silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) aerogel material is suitable for use as thermal insulation at temperatures approaching 1,200 °C. These aerogel composites were created using cost-effective and commercially available polymeric precursors (the polymethylsiloxane...

Briefs: Materials

New designs, and materials appropriate for such designs, are under investigation in an effort to develop coronagraph occulting masks having broad-band spectral characteristics...

Who's Who: Aerospace

Dr. Luz Marina Calle earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio University and shortly thereafter became a professor of...

Briefs: Materials

An improved class of formulations for PMR polyimide resins retards the imidization that undesirably occurs during handling and storage. While imidization is desired at the final...

Briefs: Materials
Silica-Filled EPDM Rubbers as Ablative Insulating Materials

Silica-filled polymers made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) have been found to be useful as ablative thermal-insulation materials. These polymers have been investigated as candidates to replace some previously developed polymeric ablative rocket-engine insulating materials...

Briefs: Materials
Statistical Sampling of Tide Heights Study

The goal of the study was to determine if it was possible to reduce the cost of verifying computational models of tidal waves and currents. Statistical techniques were used to determine the least number of samples required, in a given situation, to remain statistically significant, and thereby reduce...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Bonded Invar Clip Removal Using Foil Heaters

A new process uses local heating and temperature monitoring to soften the adhesive under Invar clips enough that they can be removed without damaging the composite underneath or other nearby bonds. Two 1×1 in. (≈2.5×2.5 cm), 10-W/in.2 (≈1.6-W/cm2), 80-ohm resistive foil Kapton foil...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Gratings Fabricated on Flat Surfaces and Reproduced on Non-Flat Substrates

A method has been developed for fabricating gratings on flat substrates, and then reproducing the groove pattern on a curved (concave or convex) substrate and a corresponding grating device. First, surface relief diffraction grating grooves are formed on flat substrates....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabricating Radial Groove Gratings Using Projection Photolithography

Projection photolithography has been used as a fabrication method for radial grove gratings. Use of photolithographic method for diffraction grating fabrication represents the most significant breakthrough in grating technology in the last 60 years, since the introduction of...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping

While automotive, aerospace, and high-tech equipment manufacturers are early adopters of wireless networks, the overall manufacturing industry has been...

Application Briefs: Imaging

Process Photonics (Ottawa, ON, Canada) builds processing systems for the PCB, electronics assembly, and medical device markets. Their ProVisionTM series is a solution that...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Discrete Fourier Transform Analysis in a Complex Vector Space

Alternative computational strategies for the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) have been developed using analysis of geometric manifolds. This approach provides a general framework for performing DFT calculations, and suggests a more efficient implementation of the DFT for applications...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Self-Assembling, Flexible, Pre-Ceramic Composite Preforms

In this innovation, light weight, high temperature, compact aerospace structures with increased design options are made possible by using self-assembling, flexible, pre-ceramic composite materials. These materials are comprised of either ceramic or carbon fiber performs, which are...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Miniature scroll pumps have been proposed as roughing pumps (low-vacuum pumps) for miniature scientific instruments (e.g., portable mass spectrometers and gas analyzers) that depend on vacuum. The...

Who's Who: Materials

Jeff Ding introduced friction stir welding (FSW) to NASA in 1995. He currently holds 6 U.S. patents for FSW, including one for an automatic retractable pin tool that...

Briefs: Materials

Films made of certain polymer/carbon composites have been found to be potentially useful as sensing films for detecting airborne elemental mercury at concentrations on the order of...

Briefs: Materials

A further improvement has been made to reduce the high-temperature thermal conductivities of the aerogel-matrix composite materials described in “Improved Silica Aerogel Composite...

Briefs: Materials
Multiplexed Colorimetric Solid-Phase Extraction

Multiplexed colorimetric solid-phase extraction (MC-SPE) is an extension of colorimetric solid-phase extraction (CSPE) — an analytical platform that combines colorimetric reagents, solid phase extraction, and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to quantify trace analytes in water. In C-SPE, analytes...

Briefs: Medical

The separation of serum or plasma from whole blood is of overriding importance in clinical chemistry. In particular, many diagnostic detection reactions of blood components...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mercuric Iodide Anticoincidence Shield for Gamma-Ray Spectrometer

A film-growth process was developed for polycrystalline mercuric iodide that creates cost-effective, large-area detectors for high-energy charged-particle detection. A material, called a barrier film, is introduced onto the substrate before the normal mercuric iodide film growth...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

An improved method of designing complexly shaped inflatable shells to be assembled from gores was conceived for original application to the inflatable outer shell of a developmental...

Eye on Innovation: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Given the current economic conditions, companies must continue to deliver existing products as they develop the products of tomorrow, without increasing the...

Briefs: Materials
Using Ozone To Clean and Passivate Oxygen-Handling Hardware

A proposed method of cleaning, passivating, and verifying the cleanliness of oxygen-handling hardware would extend the established art of cleaning by use of ozone. As used here, “cleaning” signifies ridding all exposed surfaces of combustible (in particular, carbon-based)...

Briefs: Materials
Two-Piece Screens for Decontaminating Granular Material

Two-piece screens have been designed specifically for use in filtering a granular material to remove contaminant particles that are significantly wider or longer than are the desired granules. In the original application for which the two-piece screens were conceived, the granular material...

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