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
Study of High-Performance Polyimide Foams

This report describes an experimental study of thermal-stability, mechanical, and flammability properties of foams of several different densities made of three different polyimides. The study was performed because (1) prior such studies were performed on polyimide films rather than foams and (2)...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Because the International Space Station is being assembled in orbit, there was a need to verify in advance that it could, indeed, be assembled there and that the various assembled parts would function as intended....

Briefs: Materials

Compression Stress Relaxation (CSR) is an important factor in evaluating elastomer materials and seal configurations for their ability to provide sealing force retention under...

Briefs: Materials
Making Ion-Accelerator Grids From Ti Instead of Mo

Titanium has been found to offer several advantages over molybdenum as the material used to construct electrostatic-accelerator and -screen grids for ion thrusters for spacecraft. These advantages could also be expected to extend to the manufacture of grids for ion accelerators used in...

Briefs: Materials
Thermal Insulation Would Use CO2 in the Martian Environment

A report describes the development of a lightweight thermal insulation system for Martian surface applications. The ambient Martian atmosphere, which is predominantly carbon dioxide at a pressure of 10 torr, is used as the insulation medium with a modest multiple radiation shield...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Expendable Composite-Layup Dies From Rapid-Prototype Masters

A method that exploits rapid prototyping has been conceived to reduce the time and cost associated with the production of small quantities of composite-material parts that have complex shapes. In this method, mandrels and dies used in forming composite layups are sized and shaped by...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Punch-and-die sets have been designed for use in rounding corners of rectangular metal sheets to specified radii. One of the traditional procedures for rounding a corner on a rectangular...

Briefs: Materials

Filled skutterudites have shown promise as semiconducting materials with superior thermoelectric properties at temperatures up to at least 650 °C. This finding is a breakthrough in a...

Briefs: Materials

Alkoxides of lithium have been found to be useful as electrolyte additives to improve the low-temperature performance of rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. As...

Briefs: Materials

Aliphatic esters have been found to be useful as electrolyte additives for improving the low-temperature performances of rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. The...

Briefs: Materials

Ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC) has been found to be a suitable cosolvent, along with three other carbonate solvents, for incorporation into electrolytes to enhance the low-temperature...

Briefs: Materials

Titanium disulfide has been found to be attractive as an alternative to graphite as the anode material in rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells that are required to operate at...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Microwave heating is the basis of a simple technique for quickly and gently bonding two metallized dielectric or semiconductor wafers to each other. The technique can be used, for example,...

Briefs: Materials

Liquid and paste polyorganosiloxane formulations (which become high-temperature- and oxidation-resistant organosilicone-based ceramics upon curing) have been invented for use in (1)...

Briefs: Materials
Polyorganosiloxane Waterproofing for Porous Ceramics

Liquid waterproofing agents based on polyorganosiloxanes have been invented for use in treating porous, lightweight, fibrous ceramic thermal-insulation materials in both tile (rigid) and blanket (flexible) forms. Whereas silane-based waterproofing materials developed previously for this...

Briefs: Materials

A technique for holding sensor lead wires in place on substrates made of SiC-based monolithic ceramic or SiC/SiC fiber-reinforced ceramic-matrix composite materials involves...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Polymeric Composite Materials for Dental Fillings

Composite materials that include combinations of metal oxide and silica nanoparticles in polymeric matrices have been invented for primary use as dental fillings, dental and bone adhesives, and the like. There have been previous efforts to develop polymeric replacements for the amalgam...

Briefs: Materials

A thin polymer/metal laminate has been developed for use as an envelope material for lightweight heat pipes and heat-pipe radiators that operate at temperatures up to 360 K. The...

Briefs: Materials
Hybrid Composite Structures Made From Polybenzoxazole Fibers

Hybrid composite-material (fiber/matrix) structures of a proposed type would incorporate recently developed polybenzoxazole (PBO) fibers that feature high strengths and high moduli of elasticity and which can be made in much thinner sections than are possible with graphite fibers. The...

Briefs: Materials

"Smart coatings" denotes a class of high-temperature-resistant, multilayer, thin (total thickness < 10 µm) films that contain predominantly planar layers of sensor circuitry...

Briefs: Materials
Aggregate-Search Approach for Planning and Scheduling

Several algorithms developed for use in automated planning and scheduling of sets of interdependent activities employ aggregation techniques to increase the efficiency of searching for temporal assignments that are legal in the sense that they do not violate constraints. In the...

Briefs: Materials

Some success has been achieved in a development program directed toward improving the mechanical properties of electroformed copper-alloy structural components. Typical of such components are...

Briefs: Materials
Foaming in Place for Outer-Space Applications

A report discusses the adaptation of foaming-in-place techniques and materials to outer-space applications. Foaming in place is used commercially in terrestrial sealing, insulating, bonding, and retrofitting applications. The room-temperature outer-space versions of foaming in place are...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

An arc-welding technique for repair of a directionally solidified (DS) nickel-base superalloy article (e.g., a turbine blade or vane) has been devised. The technique equally is...

Briefs: Materials

Metal-supported catalyst beds with improved thermal and flow characteristics for promoting endothermic chemical reactions are undergoing development. In the proposed original...

Briefs: Materials

In catalytic flow-through chemical reactors being explored for space vehicle applications, the catalysts would be supported on the surfaces of wires, instead of on particles, as are typically used...

Briefs: Materials

In an extension of the concept reported in the preceding article, catalytic flow-through chemical reactors of a proposed type would contain catalyst-coated microtubes, possibly in combination...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A process for making precise, high-quality curved or flat mirror surfaces on bare aluminum substrates has been devised. The process consists of (1) diamond turning to establish the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
External Adhesive Pressure-Wall Patch

A mechanical device has been developed for applying an adhesive patch, from the outside, to the wall of a spacecraft module that has lost pressure because of penetration by a meteoroid or a piece of orbital debris. This device will make it possible to seal and re-pressurize the affected module during space...

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