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
Nanolaminate Mirrors With Integral Figure-Control Actuators

A report discusses the development of thin-shell curved mirrors comprised of metallic multilayer nanolaminate substrates that contain integral inplane actuators for controlling surface figure with micron-level precision. These mirrors, intended for incorporation into scientific imaging...

A device based on the transport of water through a membrane to a vacuum has been developed for dehumidifying a stream of air in the life-support system of a spacecraft or space suit. The...

A process that includes photolithography, liftoff, etching, and sputter deposition has been developed to enable the fabrication of thin, finely patterned layers of gold, platinum,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Software for Optimized Flattening From 3D to 2D

A computer program offers enhanced capabilities for calculating two-dimensional (2D) patterns needed to construct specified three-dimensional (3D) surfaces to within acceptably close approximations, with minimal waste of sheet material. Examples of complexly shaped sheet-material items that could...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electron-Beam Welding of Superalloys at High Temperatures

Electron-beam welding at high temperatures has been found to be a suitable process for joining structural components made by casting certain superalloys. This process can be used in the fabrication of superalloy parts that must withstand high operating temperatures. Examples of such parts...

Thin films of Li2CO3 are under consideration for use as passivating layers between electrodes and solid electrolytes in advanced thin-film lithium-ion...

The term “prefield test” denotes an in situ test of contaminated soil in preparation for in situ treatment of the soil by a method called “electrokinetically enhanced...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Two Techniques for Removing Core-Drill Debris

Two alternative techniques make it possible to remove core-drill debris more rapidly and efficiently than was previously possible. Either technique is a vast improvement over the prior art. For industries in which ultrasonic core drills are used, these two techniques are expected to result in savings...

A technique based on electrical-continuity measurements has been proposed as a means of monitoring and controlling the thicknesses of semiconductor wafers during lapping,...

Annealing has been found to be an effective means of tailoring the height of a Schottky barrier between gold and gallium nitride. This finding offers promise for the development of...

Briefs: Materials
Ceramics Made From Wood

The term “ecoceramics” (a contraction of “environment-conscious ceramics”) denotes a class of ceramics made partly from wood-based products, which can include natural wood, sawdust, cardboard, and/ or paper. In addition to the environmental advantage of renewability of the carbonaceous ingredients, the concept of...

Briefs: Materials
Refrigerant Blends Containing Trifluoroiodomethane

Blends of refrigerant fluids have been developed as improved alternatives to conventional chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants, which contribute to depletion of stratosphere ozone. Each blend of this type is a zeotropic or nearly azeotropic mixture of...

Briefs: Materials
Heat-Exchanger Rocket Engine

The proposed rocket engine includes a combustion chamber actively cooled by liquid oxygen: Heat from the combustion chamber vaporizes the flowing liquid oxygen, and the absorption of latent heat of vaporization contributes to cooling of the combustion-chamber wall. The resulting high-vapor-quality (mostly vapor)...

Briefs: Materials
Stable Ohmic Contacts on SiC Devices for High Temperatures

Ti3SiC2 has been proposed as a mate- rial for ohmic contacts on SiC-based electronic and microelectromechanical devices intended to operate at temperatures >600 °C and/or in corrosive environments. Although SiC is stable and devices made of SiC are capable of...

Briefs: Materials
Development of Alternatives to Hydrazines as Propellants

A brief report summarizes an investigation of less-toxic alternatives to toxic monopropellant fluids used in launch vehicles, upper stages, and spacecraft propulsion. The toxic fluids in question are (1) hydrazine and its derivatives, used, variously, as fuels or by themselves as...

An apparatus has been developed as a means of controlling the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in air in a closed or semiclosed environmental system. The apparatus takes...

Briefs: Materials
A Technique for Injecting Ag+ Ions as Biocide into H2O

A simple and reliable technique facilitates the addition of silver ions to water supplies to suppress bacterial contamination. In the original application for which the technique was devised, there is a need for Ag+-ion concentrations at a biocidal levels (0.5 mg/L) in 44-L...

Briefs: Materials
Experiments on Residual-Stress Bondline Failures in an RSRM

A report describes an experimental study undertaken to verify a finite-element mathematical model used to predict residual stresses and stress-induced failures in the adhesive interfacial layers (bondlines) that join phenolic liners to interior surfaces of metal housings of...

Latently reactive end caps have been investigated as improved means to increase the thermo-oxidative stability of polyimides of the polymerization of monomeric reactants (PMR) type,...

An additional class of end-cap compounds that increase the thermo-oxidative stability of polyimides of the polymerization of monomeric reactants (PMR) type has been invented. The...

Low-density, ablative thermal-protection panels can be made by impregnating fibrous ceramic substrates with organic polymers. With proper design and fabrication, these panels can...

Briefs: Materials
Solar Heating for Deployment of Foam Structures

Solar heating has been proposed as a means of deployment of structures of the type described in "Cold Hibernated Elastic Memory (CHEM) Expandable Structures," (NPO-20394), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 23, No. 2 (February 1999), page 56. A few examples of structures that would be amenable to the CHEM...

Briefs: Materials
Fluorinated Diamondlike Carbon Coatings

Some experiments directed toward the development of improved hard, lubricious coating materials have involved direct fluorination of proprietary diamondlike coats on various substrates. The idea is to retain the hardness of the diamondlike material while adding surface molecular structures that impart the...

Briefs: Materials
Solar Sails Would Be Made From Carbon Nets

A report proposes that solar sails for spacecraft be made from nets of carbon fibers. The reason for choosing carbon nets over thin polymeric films is that nets offer greater capability for carrying tensile loads. The sails could be made from carbon-fiber nets of various thicknesses: nets used for...

Briefs: Materials
Solar Sails Would Be Segmented To Minimize Stresses

A report proposes that solar sails for spacecraft be constructed in segments in such a way as to minimize stresses. The segments could be made of metallized fabric or film and could be connected by short, strong tethers. Alternatively, the segments could be like islands, held loosely in...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermal-Stress Technique for Cutting Thin Glass Sheets

A technique based on the generation of highly localized thermal stresses has been devised as a means of cutting both flat and curved glass sheets of thicknesses between 30 and 600 µm. The technique is reliable, accurate, and economical. The technique can be used, for example, to cut thin...

A methodology for predicting stresses and the resultant cracking in plasma-sprayed thermal-barrier coatings (TBCs) has been developed. The methodology is built around a computer code that...

Experiments have shown that ultrasound could be an effective means of enhancing the removal of chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants from groundwater by the zero-valent-metal treatment...

Briefs: Materials
Multi-Shock Blankets for Protecting Spacecraft

A report discusses multi-shock blankets, which are under investigation for use in protecting spacecraft against orbiting debris from prior spacecraft missions. Multi-shock blankets are described in comparison with early protective metallic "bumpers" and with a somewhat more recent invention called...

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