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.

Briefs : Motion Control
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Researchers have developed a self-contained wheel unit that combines a wheel and an electric motor.
Self-Contained Wheel Unit
Products : Data Acquisition
New on the Market: December 2019
New on the Market: December 2019
Adhesives, flame-retardant compounds, vision measurement, and more...
New on the Market: December 2019
5 Ws : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
5 Ws of EarEcho
5 Ws of EarEcho
The biometric tool uses modified wireless earbuds to authenticate smartphone users
5 Ws of EarEcho
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
This lightweight material brings strength and durability to complex shapes.
Continuous Fiber Composite for Use in Gears
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
This hands-on, educational tool highlights the properties of SMA wire.
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMArt)
NASA Spinoff : Energy
Carbon Capture Process Makes Sustainable Oil
Carbon Capture Process Makes Sustainable Oil
Life support research for astronauts enabled a solution to one aspect of climate change.
Carbon Capture Process Makes Sustainable Oil
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
This technology provides simultaneous ohmic contacts and the process to make them.
Metallization for SiC Semiconductors
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
This optical switch controls the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently.
Photonic Switch Increases Speed and Efficiency of Light Through Optical Fibers
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
This method also reverse-engineers computer chips to detect the chip’s purpose.
Technique Uses X-Rays to Detect Defective Computer Chips
Briefs : Energy
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
The nanogenerator also acts as a weather station.
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method Speeds 3D Printing of Millimeter-Sized Imaging Lenses
Method Speeds 3D Printing of Millimeter-Sized Imaging Lenses
The method could impact optical imaging, vision correction, and disease diagnosis.
Method Speeds 3D Printing of Millimeter-Sized Imaging Lenses
Articles : Electronics & Computers
Innovators Recognized for Creating the Future 2019
Innovators Recognized for Creating the Future 2019
Top prizes in the 2019 contest were awarded on November 8 in New York City.
Innovators Recognized for Creating the Future 2019
Briefs : Energy
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
The device could impact composites manufacturing and health monitoring.
Washable Sensor Can Be Woven Into Materials
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
The technology can be used in commercial motors, robotic systems, and hybrid and electric vehicles.
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
The algorithm speeds up the planning process that robots use to adjust their grip on objects.
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback
Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback
The skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality by instantaneously adapting to a wearer's movements.
Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback
Application Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Valve Position Sensor Protects Switch Boxes from Salt Environment
Valve Position Sensor Protects Switch Boxes from Salt Environment
Salty air the Dutch city of Harlingen causes exposed metal parts to corrode.
Valve Position Sensor Protects Switch Boxes from Salt Environment
Briefs : Propulsion
Superconductivity in a Nickel Oxide Material
Superconductivity in a Nickel Oxide Material
Made with “Jenga chemistry,” the material could help in understanding how high-temperature superconductors work.
Superconductivity in a Nickel Oxide Material
Technology Leaders : Energy
Development and Analysis of Solid-State Batteries with the COMSOL® Platform
Development and Analysis of Solid-State Batteries with the COMSOL® Platform
As lithium-ion battery production doubles, more viable energy storage solutions are needed.
Development and Analysis of Solid-State Batteries with the COMSOL® Platform
Facility Focus : Electronics & Computers
Facility Focus: NASA John H. Glenn Research Center
Facility Focus: NASA John H. Glenn Research Center
Glenn's research facilities have contributed to decades of technology advances.
Facility Focus: NASA John H. Glenn Research Center
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Products of Tomorrow: December 2019
Products of Tomorrow: December 2019
Products include an aerosol scattering sensor; metal foam; and a new coated drug capsule.
Products of Tomorrow: December 2019
Briefs : Materials
Aerogel-Fiber Layered Laminate System
Aerogel-Fiber Layered Laminate System
This multifunctional hybrid laminate composite can be used for residential and commercial construction.
Aerogel-Fiber Layered Laminate System
Briefs : Materials
Shape Memory Alloy with Adjustable, Wide-Ranging Actuation Temperatures
Shape Memory Alloy with Adjustable, Wide-Ranging Actuation Temperatures
This invention is a highly stable, heat-treatable, and tunable material.
Shape Memory Alloy with Adjustable, Wide-Ranging Actuation Temperatures
Q&A : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Q&A: Refrigeration by Twisting Fibers
Q&A: Refrigeration by Twisting Fibers
Changing directions of twist and coiling changes whether a material cools or heats.
Q&A: Refrigeration by Twisting Fibers
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optically Fixable Shape Memory Polymers
Optically Fixable Shape Memory Polymers
These polymers can combine thermal and optically fixable shape memory.
Optically Fixable Shape Memory Polymers
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Heat-Regulating Material for Next-Generation Space Blanket
Heat-Regulating Material for Next-Generation Space Blanket
Squid skin inspires a new material with heat-regulating properties.
Heat-Regulating Material for Next-Generation Space Blanket
Briefs : Energy
Ultra-Thin Layers of Rust Generate Electricity from Flowing Water
Ultra-Thin Layers of Rust Generate Electricity from Flowing Water
When combined with saltwater, rust can be a source of electricity.
Ultra-Thin Layers of Rust Generate Electricity from Flowing Water
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
This technology has applications in sonar, range measuring, directional-force sensors, flow meters, and vibration/noise sensing and control.
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Durable Polyimide Aerogels
Durable Polyimide Aerogels
Stronger and flexible, polyimide aerogels provide insulation and structural support.
Durable Polyimide Aerogels
Briefs : Energy
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
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.
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors