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
Reaction-Forming Method for Joining SiC-Based Parts

Two reports present additional details about the method described in "Reaction-Forming Method for Joining SiC-Based Ceramic Parts" (LEW-16661), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 23, No. 3 (March 1999), page 50. To recapitulate: A carbonaceous mixture (typically a paste) is applied to a joint between...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improvements in Rapid Prototyping

Several improvements have been proposed for the fabrication process known as "rapid prototyping." In this process, a model or prototype of a solid object is built up by controlled ejection of molten polymeric material through programmed orifices to form patterned layers. The second layer is deposited on top of...

Precise small apertures for a variety of optical applications can be formed in silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers by use of a photolithographic process developed specifically for the...

TRiangular Unstructured Mesh generator by Point insEr Tion (TRUMPET) is a computer program that generates meshes that are composed of triangular cells and are bounded by complex...

A method of analyzing and designing laminated composite-material wraps for columns, arches, domes, and other large reinforced-concrete structures involves an extension of...

Briefs: Materials
Software for Predicting Life of Metal-Matrix Composites

LIPS (LIFE PREDICTION SOFTWARE) is a computer program for predicting the life of an object that is made of a unidirectional-fiber/metal-matrix composite (MMC) material and that is subjected to mechanical loading along the fiber direction. The program is derived from a theory formulated to...

Briefs: Materials
Molecular-Sieve Type 3Å

The term "Molecular-Sieve Type 3Å" denotes a clay-based, zeolite material that revolutionizes a fluid-purification process by removing trace water and iron from nitrogen tetroxide/nitric oxide (MON-3) mixtures used as oxidizer components of spacecraft propellants. Older processes of this type removed only water or iron...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Graphite Anodes Containing Cyclic Ether Additives

Scientists have developed a type of composite graphite anode that will benefit the U.S. space program and private industry by increasing the rechargeability of lithium-ion batteries. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are used on the space shuttle and Space Station, are also used...

Briefs: Materials
Polypyrrole and Polyaniline Doped With Lignosulfonic Acid

Experiments have shown that electrically conductive polymers with water-soluble fractions can be synthesized by polymerization of pyrrole or aniline in the presence of lignosulfonic acid, which is a polymeric acid that can be derived relatively easily from the spent sulfite liquor...

Briefs: Materials
Tribological Characterization of Solid Surfaces

Reports labeled as chapters 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of a NASA technical memorandum that addresses topics in tribology have been compiled into a document that emphasizes those aspects of the subject matter that pertain to chemical-vapor-deposited (CVD) diamond and diamond-like films. The...

An improved method of accelerated testing reduces the time needed to analyze the abilities of zinc-rich primers to protect steel substrates against corrosion in a seacoast...

Briefs: Materials
Protective Shells for Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels

White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) scientists have developed an energy-absorbing laminated shell that is a prototype of lightweight, inexpensive, and removable covers to shield and otherwise protect carbon-composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs). Although COPVs are superior to...

Briefs: Materials
Nonevaporable Getters To Maintain Vacuum in Sealed MEMS

Nonevaporable getters have been proposed for use in maintaining vacuum inside hermetically sealed microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that rely on vacuum for proper operation. A vibratory microgyroscope is an example of such a MEMS. The proposed getters could also be used in such vacuum...

Briefs: Materials
Update on Electrolytes for Low-Temperature Lithium Cells

A report presents results of research on carbonate-based electrolytes to improve the low-temperature-performances of lithium-ion rechargeable electrochemical cells. The loss of performance with decreasing temperature is attributable largely to a decrease of ionic conductivity and the...

Improved polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells can be made by impregnating the baseline membrane material with cross-linked polystyrene (a copolymer of styrene...

A laminated composite-material plate has been developed for use as a lightweight heat sink and mechanical support for rigid printed-circuit boards (PCBs) that hold surface-mounted...

A method for protective packaging of multichip modules and related assemblies of microelectronic circuitry involves coating the assemblies with composite organic/inorganic layers...

An improved method of fabricating electrodes for fuel cells includes the use of sputtering to deposit thin layers of catalytic electrode metals. Previously, catalytic electrode metals...

Improved formulations and processes have been invented for manufacturing ceramic fibers that exhibit structural stability and retain tensile strength at temperatures up to 1,200...

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...

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