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.

Rensselaer Engineering focuses on solving the “grand challenges” facing humanity.
This method of producing clean syngas could be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to gasoline.
Q&A: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Q&A: Tactile Robot Finger with No Blind Spots
A robotic finger has a sense of touch that can be localized with high precision over a large, multi-curved surface.
The flexible device harvests heat energy from the body to monitor health.
This green process produces pristine graphene in bulk using waste food, plastic, and other materials.
This technology supports CO2 emissions reduction in cement manufacturing.
Inspired by the octopus, the structure senses, computes, and responds without any centralized processing.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cut-to-Length Electrical Cable Cuts Costs
Electrical cables are used in services such as power delivery, automation signaling, and communications.
Taking a holistic approach to sealing systems in hydraulic systems using chrome alternatives helps engineers achieve optimum function.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Soft Hardware for More Flexible Robots
Combined muscles and sensors made from soft materials allow for adaptable robots.
Articles: Materials
Products of Tomorrow: June 2020
Nature-Inspired Energy Tech, Superelastic Tires, Wearable Supercapacitors, and more...
Wool from special sheep keeps astronauts and emergency responders safe.
Briefs: Imaging
Optically Reconfigurable Charge-Transfer Liquid Crystals
These re-writeable materials have applications in data storage and encryption, energy transducers, and optical display technologies.
Heat predictably and precisely changes the surface structure of a particle of liquid metal.
The multitasking device could advance development of an electric circuit for faster, next-generation electronics like quantum computing technologies.
This method can be used to protect stored building materials and to remediate in-service wood and wood products.
A novel plate-cell architecture reaches the theoretical limit of performance.
These composites could improve how unmanned vehicles dissipate energy.
Bacterial pathogens can live on surfaces for days. What if frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, could instantly kill them off?
The rainproof, stainproof technology turns clothing into self-powered remotes while turning away bacteria.
Products: Data Acquisition
New on the Market: June 2020
Industrial PCs, power modules, processor blades, and more.
This type of energy source could be the basis for robots that seek out and “eat” metal, breaking down its chemical bonds for energy like humans do with food.
Question of the Week: Materials
How Would You Use Gecko-Inspired Adhesion?

A team at Georgia Tech has discovered a Velcro-like way of mass-producing gecko-inspired adhesives. Principal investigator Prof. Michael Varenberg believes his team’s technology can someday be used on pick-and-place industrial machines, wall-scaling cleaners, and even small repair robots that travel...

The Los Angeles, CA-based company Nanotech Energy is using graphene to prevent thermal runaway and create a non-flammable battery.
A team at Georgia Tech has discovered a Velcro-like way of mass-producing gecko-inspired adhesives.
A proof-of-concept soft robot has a cheetah-like gait that avoids the usual crawl.
Question of the Week: Materials
Will ‘Flexoskeletons’ Catch On?

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have found a new way to make soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots. The “flexoskeletons” are both made of a rigid material and a thin sheet of polycarbonate that acts as a flexible base. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

What do you think? Will...

The future’s getting brighter for solar power. Researchers from CU Boulder have created a low-cost solar cell with one of the highest power-conversion efficiencies to...

See how NASA engineer Mike Buttigieg is creating a device that will free up ventilators for patients with COVID-19

Videos