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.

The nanogenerator also acts as a weather station.
The method could impact optical imaging, vision correction, and disease diagnosis.
Top prizes in the 2019 contest were awarded on November 8 in New York City.
The device could impact composites manufacturing and health monitoring.
Briefs: Transportation
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
The technology can be used in commercial motors, robotic systems, and hybrid and electric vehicles.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
The algorithm speeds up the planning process that robots use to adjust their grip on objects.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback
The skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality by instantaneously adapting to a wearer's movements.
Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Valve Position Sensor Protects Switch Boxes from Salt Environment
Salty air the Dutch city of Harlingen causes exposed metal parts to corrode.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Superconductivity in a Nickel Oxide Material
Made with “Jenga chemistry,” the material could help in understanding how high-temperature superconductors work.
As lithium-ion battery production doubles, more viable energy storage solutions are needed.
Facility Focus: Test & Measurement
Facility Focus: NASA John H. Glenn Research Center
Glenn's research facilities have contributed to decades of technology advances.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
Products of Tomorrow: December 2019
Products include an aerosol scattering sensor; metal foam; and a new coated drug capsule.
This multifunctional hybrid laminate composite can be used for residential and commercial construction.
This invention is a highly stable, heat-treatable, and tunable material.
Changing directions of twist and coiling changes whether a material cools or heats.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optically Fixable Shape Memory Polymers
These polymers can combine thermal and optically fixable shape memory.
Squid skin inspires a new material with heat-regulating properties.
When combined with saltwater, rust can be a source of electricity.
This technology has applications in sonar, range measuring, directional-force sensors, flow meters, and vibration/noise sensing and control.
Briefs: Materials
Durable Polyimide Aerogels
Stronger and flexible, polyimide aerogels provide insulation and structural support.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
RFID-based devices work in indoor and outdoor lighting conditions and could transmit data for years before they need to be replaced.
White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Right Manufacturing Partner Can Save You Costs and Development Time

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is fast becoming an essential part of the modern manufacturing toolkit because of the powerful advantages it offers. Industry...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will the Ability to Manipulate Virtual Objects in Real-World Scenes Help Your Design and Manufacturing Efforts?

A Tech Briefs TV video this week demonstrated a Brown University system called Portal-ble. The augmented-reality technology allows you to place virtual objects within real-world backgrounds on smartphone screens. Users can then...

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Our expert examines the pros and cons of welding, adhesives, and other metal joining methods.
Computed tomography is being used in the medical and industrial field. An expert explains how the two imaging techniques differ.
White Papers: Packaging & Sterilization
Current Trends in Medical Kit Packaging

In days of yore, when house calls were common, physicians used black leather bags to tote instruments from appointment to appointment. Those medical bags are long gone, but the logic behind them - a...

What's the best aluminum for extrusion? A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert.

Inspired by a sticky substance that spiders use to catch their prey, a double-sided tape was developed that can rapidly seal tissues together within five seconds. The tape works much...

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As...

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