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
Passivating Stainless Steel Parts

Maximizing the natural corrosion resistance of parts and components machined from stainless steels. It can make the difference between satisfactory performance and premature failure. Incorrectly performed, passivation can actually induce corrosion.

For every challenge that may arise when attaching metal or plastic components, a hardware solution usually can be found. When permanently installed threaded hardware...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Method of Purifying Carbon Nanotubes

An improved method of removing the residues of fabrication from carbon nanotubes has been invented. These residues comprise amorphous carbon and metal particles that are produced during the growth process. Prior methods of removing the residues include a variety of processes that involved the use of...

A method and apparatus for the growth of carbon nanotubes or nanofibers in a desired pattern has been invented. The essence of the method is to grow the nanotubes or nanofibers by chemical...

Briefs: Materials
Lightweight, Rack-Mountable Composite Cold Plate/Shelves

Rack-mountable composite-material structural components that would serve as both shelves and cold plates for removing heat from electronic or other equipment mounted on the shelves have been proposed as lightweight alternatives to allmetal cold plate/shelves now in use. A proposed cold...

An electrochemical technique for deionizing water, now under development, is intended to overcome a major limitation of prior electrically–based waterpurification techniques. The...

Briefs: Materials
Safer Electrolytes for Lithium-Ion Cells

A number of nonvolatile, low-flammability liquid oligomers and polymers based on aliphatic organic carbonate molecular structures have been found to be suitable to be blended with ethylene carbonate to make electrolytes for lithium-ion electro- chemical cells. Heretofore, such electrolytes have often been...

A low-temperature plasma process has been devised for attaching specified molecular groups to carbon nanotubes in order to impart desired chemical and/or physical properties to the...

A recently invented method of fabricating periodic or otherwise ordered nanostructures involves the use of chaperonin polypeptides. The method is intended to serve as a potentially...

Briefs: Materials
Curing Composite Materials Using Lower-Energy Electron Beams

In an improved method of fabricating composite-material structures by laying up prepreg tapes (tapes of fiber reinforcement impregnated by uncured matrix materials) and then curing them, one cures the layups by use of beams of electrons having kinetic energies in the range of 200 to...

Briefs: Materials
Aluminum-Alloy-Matrix/Alumina-Reinforcement Composites

Isotropic composites of aluminum alloy matrices reinforced with particulate alumina have been developed as lightweight, high-specific-strength, less expensive alternatives to nickel-base and ferrous superalloys. These composites feature a specific gravity of about 3.45 g/cm3 and specific...

Fibrous-ceramic/aerogel composite tiles have been invented to afford combinations of thermal-insulation and mechanical properties superior to those attainable by making tiles of fibrous...

Briefs: Materials
Urethane/Silicone Adhesives for Bonding Flexing Metal Parts

Adhesives that are blends of commercially available urethane and silicone adhesives have been found to be useful for bonding metal parts that flex somewhat during use. These urethane/silicone adhesives are formulated for the specific metal parts to be bonded. The bonds formed by these...

A proposed thermal-bonding technique would make it possible to join or separate thermoplastic parts quickly and efficiently. The technique would eliminate the need for conventional...

A procedure now under development is intended to enable the precise alignment of sheet arrays of microscopic lenses with the end faces of a coherent bundle of as many as 1,000...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automatic Control of Arc Process for Making Carbon Nanotubes

An automatic-control system has been devised for a process in which carbon nanotubes are produced in an arc between a catalyst-filled carbon anode and a graphite cathode. The control system includes a motor-driven screw that adjusts the distance between the electrodes. The system also...

Experiments have shown that composites of a silicone elastomer with single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are significantly stronger and stiffer than is the unfilled elastomer. The large...

Briefs: Materials
Study of Rapid-Regression Liquefying Hybrid Rocket Fuels

A report describes experiments directed toward the development of paraffin-based hybrid rocket fuels that burn at regression rates greater than those of conventional hybrid rocket fuels like hydroxyl-terminated butadiene. The basic approach followed in this development is to use materials...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Thin, Flexible Heat Pipes

Flexible heat pipes of an improved type are fabricated as layers of different materials laminated together into vacuum-tight sheets or tapes. In comparison with prior flexible heat pipes, these flexible...

A method, now undergoing development, of forming nanochannels in planar substrates is intended to enable the fabrication of advanced fluidic devices that could be integrated with...

Semiconductor electronic devices and circuits based on silicon carbide (SiC) are being developed for use in high-temperature, high-power, and/or high-radiation conditions under which...

Briefs: Materials
Nonlinear Thermoelastic Model for SMAs and SMA Hybrid

A constitutive mathematical model has been developed that predicts the nonlinear thermomechanical behaviors of shape-memory alloys (SMAs) and of shape- memory-alloy hybrid composite (SMAHC) structures, which are composite-material structures that contain embedded SMA actuators. SMAHC...

One of the major challenges for NASA's next-generation reusable-launch-vehicle (RLV) program is the design of a cryogenic lightweight composite fuel...

Briefs: Materials
Formulations for Stronger Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell Electrolytes

Tests have shown that modification of chemical compositions can increase the strengths and fracture toughnesses of solid oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) electrolytes. Heretofore, these solid electrolytes have been made of yttria- stabilized zirconia, which is highly conductive for oxygen ions...

Some changes have been incorporated into a proposed method of manufacturing regular arrays of precisely sized, shaped, positioned, and oriented carbon nanotubes. Such arrays could...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Process Management for Test

Test is critical to the board manufacturing process. Effective test ensures quality and customer satisfaction both for the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and the CEM (contract electronics...

Rod/coil block copolyimides that exhibit high levels of ionic conduction can be made into diverse products, including dimensionally stable solid electrolyte membranes that function...

Briefs: Materials
Processable Polyimides Containing APB and Reactive End Caps

Imide copolymers that contain 1,3-bis (3- aminophenoxy) benzene (APB) and other diamines and dianhydrides and that are terminated with appropriate amounts of reactive end caps have been invented. The reactive end caps investigated thus far include 4-phenylethynyl phthalic anhydride...

Briefs: Materials
Liquid Coatings for Reducing Corrosion of Steel in Concrete

Inorganic coating materials are being developed to slow or stop corrosion of reinforcing steel members inside concrete structures. It is much simpler and easier to use these coating materials than it is to use conventional corrosion-inhibiting systems based on impressed electric...

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