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.

Anew material was developed that can extract the key ingredient in the most common form of plastic from a mixture of other chemicals while consuming far less energy than usual....

Facility Focus: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Founded on July 1, 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is one of NASA’s largest field centers. Marshall engineers designed, built, tested, and helped launch the Saturn V...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new way to reduce the high-temperature heating requirement of sapphire substrates in wafer production. The growth of...

Unwanted porosity is typical to many manufacturing processes — from traditional casting to additive manufacturing (3D printing) — and is difficult to avoid entirely....

Nearly all commercial products start as a CAD file — a 2D or 3D model with the product’s design specifications. One method that’s widely used to represent today’s 3D models is...

Technology Leaders: Test & Measurement
Changing the Automation Conversation

With advancements in manufacturing processes and materials, components in many industries are more precise with a new level of complex shapes. There is significant demand to create parts and assemblies...

Existing techniques for creating nano-structures are limited in what they can accomplish. Etching patterns onto a surface with light can produce 2D nano-structures but doesn’t work for 3D structures....

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Medium-Frequency Transformer Transitions from AC to DC

Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid coolant. For the heat sink to work, it has to...

Articles: Materials
Industrial Blue Lasers
What Does It Takes to Change the Game?

Industrial lasers are integrated into manufacturing and fabrication facilities around the world. Every moment, there is an industrial laser somewhere that is cutting, etching,...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging

Three-dimensional (3D) imaging applications are used in many different industries ranging from industrial pick and place, palletization/depalletization, warehouse, robotics, and metrology to...

Researchers at the University of Houston have created an inexpensive system that can detect lead in tap water at levels commonly accepted as dangerous, using a lens made with an...

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage

Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) is arguably America's most recognized hot rod shop. Founded in 2004 by charismatic serial entrepreneur Richard Rawlings, the Dallas, Texas garage is a state-of-the-art restoration and...

Rocket engine testing requires a lot of light since all tests are filmed with high-speed cameras to monitor performance; however, those cameras have to adjust to the bright plume from a firing...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Measurement Method for Radioactive Methane

Anew method for measuring radioactive methane is an optical one based on spectroscopy. Previously, radioactive methane has been measured with accelerator mass spectrometry involving expensive machines. Optical measuring could be a cheaper and more agile method.

Researchers have constructed a “metamirror” device capable of perfectly reflecting sound waves in any direction. The proof-of-principle demonstration is analogous to looking...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Waterproof Graphene Electronic Circuits

The many applications of graphene, an atomically-thin sheet of carbon atoms with extraordinary conductivity and mechanical properties, include the manufacture of sensors. These transform environmental parameters into electrical signals that can be processed and measured with a computer. Due to their...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Singlet-Based Magnet for Enhanced Data Storage

Anew type of magnet — called a singlet-based magnet — was discovered that differs from conventional magnets in which small magnetic constituents align with one another to create a strong...

Anyone who skis, wears glasses, uses a camera, or drives a car is familiar with the problem: Coming into a humid environment from the cold causes eyewear, camera lenses, or windshields to...

Briefs: Materials
Transparent, Self-Healing Electronic Skin

Scientists have taken inspiration from underwater invertebrates like jellyfish to create an electronic skin with similar functionality. Like a jellyfish, the electronic skin is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and self-healing in aquatic environments.

A Northwestern University research team has developed tiny optical elements from metal nanoparticles and a polymer that one day could replace traditional refractive...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Advances in Laser Welding Technology

There have been many changes in laser technology over the past 30 years. With each advancement comes new challenges and opportunities. The CO2 laser with 10-micron wavelength was king for many...

Special Reports: Materials
Advanced Materials - May 2019

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

For the first time, researchers have 3D printed a unique material that demonstrates optical transparency in the mid-infrared range: chalcogenide glass.

Some parts should be CNC machined, and some parts should be 3D printed. Our expert compares the two manufacturing processes.
Podcasts: Test & Measurement
Here's an Idea: Sports
In this episode, we explore how sensors are being used to detect concussions, track player performance, and even provide new opportunities to bet.
INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Student-Built Satellite Tests 3D Printing

A group of undergrad students at Virginia Tech has built a CubeSat satellite with a 3D-printed side panel that includes temperature gauges to test how the material will hold up in space. The...

Researchers created transparent polythene sheets that have a strength greater than aluminum – at a fraction of the weight.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Want to Work Alongside a 'Handle' Robot?

Another video featured on Tech Briefs TV this week demonstrated a robot from Boston Dynamics called "Handle." The bipedal wheeled robot takes on material handling tasks like pallet building and truck unloading for warehouse logistics. Take a look for yourself.

The 3D-printing process has a number of steps. Find out where CT scanning should fall.

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Helping HEV/EV Batteries Go the Distance and Stay Cool Under Pressure

Upcoming Webinars: Test & Measurement

Standardization for Automated-Vehicle Testing and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Rotary Position Sensing for EV Powertrain Applications

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Best Practices for Avoiding Systematic Faults and Handling Random...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

How to Identify Good Collaborative Robot Projects

Upcoming Webinars: Transportation

Commercial Vehicle Electrification: Still on Track?

Videos