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
Progress in Texturing by Use of Monatomic Oxygen

A report presents findings from recent research on the use of monatomic oxygen to form microscopic textures on the surfaces of polymers and extends the concept to some forms of carbon. Earlier developments in this field were described in two articles in NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 20, No. 11 (November...

Vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) has been demonstrated to be an effective technique for the fabrication of refractory-metal components of solar-thermal engines. Heretofore, such...

A process for the fabrication of improved high-temperature fiber-optic sensor heads has been proposed. Fiber-optic sensor heads that can withstand hot, dirty, noisy environments are...

A new process and equipment have been developed for reducing the emissions of hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx), and eliminating a hazardous waste stream. In this process, a...

A rapid densification technology uses nanostructured powders to produce ceramic devices and components. This technology provides ceramic monoliths and composites that can be used in the...

Carbon-based materials containing, variously, metals and metal oxides can be synthesized according to a method that involves reactions of metal chlorides with materials of general...

MoSi2-based composite materials are among the advanced materials undergoing development as potential strong, stiff, lightweight replacements for the nickel-based superalloys...

The methods described are used with existing fiber optic technologies, and are based on several patents and on disclosures now before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patents are No....

Experiments have shown that improved hydride-forming negative electrodes for rechargeable nickel/metal hydride (Ni/MH) electrochemical cells can be made by substituting Ge for...

Experiments have shown that improved hydride-forming negative electrodes for rechargeable nickel/metal hydride (Ni/MH) electrochemical cells can be made by substituting Sn for...

Current production thermal-barrier coatings (TBCs) have been shown to be capable of reducing the average temperatures of metallic components by 50 to 80 °C and hot-spot temperature by...

A probabilistic method has been developed for use in designing a composite-material structure to achieve a balance between maximum reliability and minimum cost. This method accounts...

GENOA is an advanced, completely integrated, hierarchical software package for computationally simulating the thermal and mechanical responses of high-temperature composite...

Ion-beam-deposited surface layers of diamond-like carbon (DLC) on fine-grain chemical-vapor-deposited (CVD) diamond have been found to be effective in reducing friction and wear in a...

Two poly(arylene ether phosphine oxide)s (PAEPOs) have been found to be suitable as matrix and coating materials for composite-material (matrix/fiber) tanks and pipes that contain...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Apparatus for Coating and Cold Welding in Vacuum

The figure illustrates selected aspects of a manually actuated apparatus for use in coating two small objects with suitable metals, then forcing the two objects together at the coated flat...

Briefs: Motion Control
Device for High-Pressure Fused Deposition of Engineering Polymers From Feed Rods

A more versatile delivery system for fused deposition has recently been developed. This system uses a very stiff, precise, and compact actuator to drive a small piston/cylinder extruder that has a heated nozzle. Because feed rods are used as the feed material, this...

Two techniques have been proposed to reduce thermal-expansion mismatches between (a) substrates made of silicon, silicon-based ceramics, and silicon-based-ceramic composite...

A modified alloy, known as Modified PWA1484, is a single-crystal nickel-base superalloy, developed under a NASA Marshall Space Flight Center contract for use as a turbine blade and vane alloy for the...

Briefs: Materials
Muscle Wires for Planetary-Exploration Robots

A report proposes the use of muscle wires as mechanical actuators for planetary-exploration robots. Muscle wires are commercially available in kit form in the hobby market, and have been described (though not explicitly called "muscle wires") in previous articles in NASA Tech Briefs. A muscle wire...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Magnetron Plasma Etching of SiC for Microfabrication

Magnetron plasma etching has been found to be a promising technique for micromachining of single-crystal silicon carbide to fabricate microscopic structures comprising integrated...

Engineers at Rockwell International Corporation's Space System Division have developed a new method of insulating composite structural...

A thermosetting polyimide called "DMBZ-15" has been developed for use as a matrix material in relatively inexpensive matrix/fiber composite materials. The glass-transition temperature (Tg) of...

A process that involves reaction forming has been devised to enable the joining of high-temperature-resistant structural parts made of SiC-based materials. These materials...

Improved concrete structural members such as columns, piers, and piles can be manufactured by incorporating fiber-reinforced-plastic (FRP) exterior shells and FRP interior submembers. The...

Briefs: Materials
Creep-Resistant Ceramic Composite for High-Temperature Use

A low-density, creep-resistant ceramic composite material has been developed as a prototype of such materials for use at high temperatures in the next generation of aircraft engines. The material consists of Nextel (or equivalent) ceramic fibers in a matrix that is, itself, a composite...

Nearly isotropic matrix/fiber composite materials can be made quickly and at relatively low cost by resin-transfer molding. The fiber components of these materials are fine, loosely woven,...

Experiments have shown that carbon-based materials containing pure metallic iron, alloys of iron, halides of iron, and/or oxides of iron can be synthesized from precursors of...

Briefs: Materials
Evaluation of Additives to PFPEs in Boundary Lubrication

A report describes experiments on the wear-reducing performances of six additives to perfluoropolyether (PFPE)-based fluids in the boundary-lubrication regime. The additives were a phosphate, a thiophosphate, a β-diketone, a benzothiazole, an amide/thiol, and a sulfite. Each additive was...

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