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: Aerospace
Flexure for Self-Assembly

Conventional fastening mechanisms like nails, bolts, and welds are subject to manufacturing and inspection tolerances, differential thermal growth, and other sources of error that lead to over-constraint, among...

Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modified Fittings Enhance Industrial Safety

NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is home to one of the largest buildings in the world — the massive Vehicle Assembly Building — and also hosts a number of one-of-a-kind facilities. The...

Systems of tiny robots could build high-performance structures, from airplanes to space settlements.
Machine and system designers now have greater options in choosing a motor to meet motion control requirements.
The functional transistors are integrated with ferroelectric RAM.
The ultra-fast method analyzes a wider range of materials than current thermal-based detection systems.
Facility Focus: Electronics & Computers
Facility Focus: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Explore Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA's first space flight complex.
Briefs: Materials
Silicon Carbide Fiber Tows
This rapid processing method produces stronger materials and heals lower-quality fibers.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Polymer Coating Cools Down Buildings
This coating acts as a spontaneous air cooler and can be fabricated, dyed, and applied like paint.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Thermally Conductive Polymer Films
These materials may replace metals as lightweight, flexible heat dissipators in cars, computers, cellphones, and refrigerators.
Drexel Professor Genevieve Dion is coating yarn with the highly conductive, two-dimensional material MXene.
With the new microlattice pads, players will have greater protection from both single hits and a series of impacts.
The films could be used in impact-resistant glazing, windscreens, and displays.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New on the Market: February 2020
Low-viscosity plastic; coin cell holders; oxidation-resistant coatings; and more.
Equipment-free textile detectors could be used in public health, workplace safety, military, and rescue applications.
These soft robots can be rolled up and carried in a pocket.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Intelligent Microrobots
Such machines, only a few tens of micrometers across, could be used in the human body to perform small operations.
Special Reports: Materials
Advanced Materials - February 2020

Breakthroughs in plastics, composites, metals, and other materials technologies are enabling exciting new applications in industries ranging from aerospace to automotive to medical. Read more in this...

Cornell researcher T.J. Wallin explains what's so cool about a robot that sweats.
Question of the Week: Materials
Do you Like the Idea of Fungi-Inspired Design?

Our lead INSIDER story today demonstrated the potential of fungi as a building material. Aside from supporting theoretical space habitats, fungal mycelia have been used to create actual chairs and 2x4 structures. What do you think? Do you Like the Idea of Fungi-Inspired Design?

When astronauts arrive on the Moon, their habitat may be one made out of fungi.
"View it as an infrared privacy shield," says Professor Mikhail Kats.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’

Last week, we highlighted five CES 2020 technologies that are adding intelligence to everyday aspects of the home. One featured “Smart Home” technology included “Julia,” an all-in-one cooker that performs a variety of kitchen tasks: chopping, whisking, steaming, weighing ingredients, and even kneading...

NASA is using the International Space Station as a testbed for 3D printing.
Here are five technologies that aim to add intelligence to the most surprising household objects.
A fun way to show the robustness of a soft robot? Swat it.
As additive manufacturing supports the creation of critical metal parts, designers need to know that the parts are high-quality.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing of Precision Optics at Micro and Nanoscale
AM is an especially good fit for products that require a high level of customization.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Chromium Removal from PVC Filters
The process does not cause any structural changes to the PVC filter membrane.

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