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
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...

Briefs: Materials

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...

Briefs: Materials

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...

Briefs: Materials

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...

Briefs: Materials

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

Briefs: Materials

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...

Briefs: Materials

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

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 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)...

Briefs: Materials

Proton-conductive (solid-electrolyte) membranes made from sulfonated poly(phenylether sulfone), plus membrane/electrode assemblies containing these membranes, have been developed for...

Briefs: Materials

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

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...

Briefs: Materials

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...

Briefs: Materials

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...

Briefs: Materials

A computational methodology for predicting the initiation and propagation of failures in laminated matrix/fiber composite-material structures has been developed. The methodology...

Briefs: Materials
Program Predicts Uncertainties in Properties of CMCs

Probabilistic Ceramic Matrix Composite Analyzer (PCEMCAN) is a user-friendly computer program that predicts uncertainties in the mechanical and thermal properties of ceramic-matrix composite (CMC) materials. These materials are candidates for fabrication of structural components that will be...

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...

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