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

A magnetostrictive linear-translation mechanism has been designed to function as a micropositioning device at any temperature from ambient down to the temperature of liquid helium...

Briefs: Materials
Magnetostrictive Filter-Wheel Drive

The figure shows a prototype of a magnetostrictively actuated mechanism that would rotate an optical filter wheel for a high-performance infrared camera or telescope. Typically, a high-performance infrared instrument and its filter wheel are operated inside a cryogenic system. In conventional practice, the...

Briefs: Materials

A magnetostrictively actuated heat switch has been proposed for use in a variety of cryogenic equipment, including adiabatic-demagnetization refrigerators, calorimeters, and coolers for...

Briefs: Materials

A proposed "kinematic inchworm"-type linear actuator would move a mass as large as 2 kg along rails, with lengthwise position controllable in increments as small as 50 nm. The actuator could be...

Briefs: Materials

Research has shown that with suitable processing, one can produce a polycrystalline version of a terbium/dysprosium alloy suitable for use in a magnetostrictive actuator for...

Briefs: Materials
Extruding Tb/Dy for Magnetostrictive Actuators

A process that is undergoing development would be used to mass-produce textured polycrystalline rods of a terbium/dysprosium alloy for cryogenic magnetostrictive actuators. The rolling-and-heat-treatment process described in the preceding article yields a high degree of crystal orientation, but is...

Briefs: Materials

An improved magnetostrictive valve for remotely controlling a flow of liquid helium has been developed. Heretofore, flows of liquid helium have been controlled by use of valves with...

Briefs: Materials
Separating Ethanol From Water Via Differential Miscibility

The differential miscibility of castor oil in ethanol and water would be exploited to separate ethanol from water, according to a proposal. Burning the separated ethanol would produce more energy than would be consumed in the separation process. In contrast, the separation of a small...

Briefs: Materials

A process for the fabrication of a polycrystalline diamond membrane involves chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of diamond onto a silicon substrate, followed by conventional...

Briefs: Materials
Separating Ethanol From Water Via Differential Solubility

The differential solubility of sulfur in ethanol and water could be exploited to separate ethanol from water. The energy that could be produced by burning the separated ethanol would be more than that required in the separation process. In contrast, the separation of a small amount of...

Briefs: Materials

Flexible thermal-insulation blankets made of ceramic fibers can be protected against weather and handling by attaching thin metal face sheets. In applications in which the blankets are exposed to...

Briefs: Materials

Improved aerogel-based thermal insulation systems have been developed to provide cost-effective and easier-to-handle alternatives to various types of multilayer insulation (MLI) and...

Briefs: Materials

Improved polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells can be made by any of a variety of processes in which cross-linked polystyrene sulfonic acid (PSSA) is...

Briefs: Materials

Improved zirconium- and hafnium-based ceramic composites have been invented in an effort to obtain better resistance to ablation at high temperature. These ceramics are suitable for use...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Electron-beam (e-beam) lithography has shown promise as a technique for fabricating diffractive optical elements on nonflat substrates. Such optical elements could include convex or...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Integrally Wound Skirt for Composite-Overwrapped Tank

The skirt that supports a composite-overwrapped tank would be made an integral part of the composite overwrap, according to a proposal. In current practice, the structure that supports a composite-overwrap tank usually includes a layer of rubber between the tank and its skirt. The rubber...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A crimping technique has been developed for fastening polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) tubes of 0.032-in. (0.81-mm) outside diameter and 0.0105-in. (0.267-mm) inside diameter onto...

Briefs: Materials
Hybrid Composite Overwraps for Low-Pressure Tanks

Hybrid versions of the high-performance overwraps used on some low-pressure tanks have been proposed. The hybrid overwraps would weigh less than do the corresponding nonhybrid overwraps, as explained below.

Briefs: Materials
Repair of Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessels

Pressure vessels overwrapped with graphite-fiber-based composite materials that become damaged would be salvaged by a proposed repair technique. The need for the technique arises as follows: High-performance graphite-fiber-based composites are very susceptible to damage from impact or cutting....

Briefs: Materials
Properties of Cubic Boron Nitride Films

A report describes an experimental study of the surface-chemical, microstructural, and tribological properties of cubic boron nitride (c-BN) films, which are potentially useful as hard, wear-resistant coatings on bearings and on steel-cutting tools. For the experiments, BN films about 500 nm thick were...

Briefs: Materials
Polymeric Composite Damage Protective Overwraps for Composite Pressure Vessels

Damage-tolerant polymeric composite overwraps have been proposed for lightweight pressure vessels that are made of composites of graphite fibers in polymeric matrices. Graphite-fiber/polymer composites are vulnerable to impact damage; overwraps on the pressure...

Briefs: Materials

Continuing efforts to develop lightweight, flexible thermal-insulation blankets that withstand high temperatures have led to design and fabrication concepts that effect the following...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

An integrated suite of computer programs is undergoing development to address issues pertaining to the formation of burrs — undesired projections of metal that are generated on...

Briefs: Materials

An improved method of fabricating membrane electrode structures for methanol fuel cells is similar to the method described in the preceding article, except that in this method, the...

Briefs: Materials

Electric arcs and electrochemical etching can be used to impart microscopic textures to surfaces of metals. In electric-arc texturing, one strikes an arc between a water-cooled...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Doping with silver bromide has been found to be an effective technique for enhancing the optical homogeneity and other qualities of single crystals of lead bromide. These crystals are grown...

Briefs: Materials

A method of fabricating membrane electrode structures for methanol fuel cells involves, among other things, the use of improved sprayers to deposit inks containing catalytic metals...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Two mounting schemes were devised for attaching heater wires to special-purpose glass tubing used in a capillary-heat-transfer experiment. Not only were the wires required to...

Briefs: Materials

Polyimides have been used widely in fiber-reinforced composite materials for aerospace components and in thin films for packaging of electronic circuitry. Typically, the synthesis of a...

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