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 : Nanotechnology
Advanced Carbon Aerogels for Energy Applications
Advanced Carbon Aerogels for Energy Applications

Carbon aerogels (CAs) are nano-porous carbons comprising a particularly significant class of carbon nano-materials for a variety of sustainable energy applications. Carbon aerogels are...

Advanced Carbon Aerogels for Energy Applications
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Composite Materials Could Improve Respirator Filters
Composite Materials Could Improve Respirator Filters

Current gas mask filters counter current threats, but there are large gaps in knowledge about how they do so at the molecular level. Many of the filters were developed to handle a wide...

Composite Materials Could Improve Respirator Filters
Briefs : Aerospace
Interlaminar Strengthening Concepts for Polymer Matrix Composites

During the last few decades, one of the most prevalent issues associated with the performance of aerospace composite materials has revolved around low interlaminar mechanical properties. The innovations described in this work outline a number of new and improved techniques for...

Briefs : Materials
Optical Method for Detecting Displacements and Strains at Ultra-High Temperatures During Thermo-Mechanical Testing

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an optical method for detecting displacements and strains at ultra-high temperatures during thermo-mechanical testing. This innovation will provide displacement and strain measurements in...

Q&A : Materials
Q&A: Georgia Tech's Dr. Shannon Yee Demonstrates Simple Biosensors, Powered by Body Heat

Using flexible conducting polymers and novel circuitry patterns printed on paper, researchers in Dr. Yee’s laboratory have demonstrated proof-of-concept wearable thermoelectric generators that can harvest energy from body heat to power simple biosensors...

Briefs : Materials
Solid-State Humidity Sensing Element

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a solid-state humidity sensing element that offers ultra-high sensitivity across a wide range of humidity levels. The sensing element is based on a novel ceramic dielectric material that exhibits large changes in capacitance as a function of...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Smart Fabric Stores Information Without Electronics
Smart Fabric Stores Information Without Electronics

Conductive thread — embroidery thread that can carry an electrical current — often is combined with other types of electronics to create fabric that lights up or communicates. This...

Smart Fabric Stores Information Without Electronics
Briefs : Energy
Superalloy Surface Treatment for Improved Performance of Power Turbines

To produce power more efficiently and cleanly, the next generation of power turbines will have to operate at extreme temperatures and pressures. Currently, single-crystal, nickel-based superalloys are used in such extreme environments. MCrAlY coatings (where M = Co, Ni, or...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Novel, Solid-State Hybrid Ultracapacitor Battery
Novel, Solid-State Hybrid Ultracapacitor Battery

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a solid-state ultracapacitor with a unique combination of high capacitance and battery-like discharge characteristics. The high capacitance in...

Novel, Solid-State Hybrid Ultracapacitor Battery
INSIDER : Materials
Nanotube Fibers Made by Hand to Cut Production Time

A method developed at Rice University allows researchers to make short lengths of strong, conductive fibers from small samples of bulk nanotubes in about an hour. It can take grams of material and weeks of effort to optimize the process of spinning continuous fibers, but the new method cuts...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth
Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth

An electrically-driven demolition probe originally funded by NASA enables a more precise, quieter fracturing method that its creators hope will give construction workers on...

Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth
News : Medical
Electropolishing Solutions for the Medical Industry
Electropolishing Solutions for the Medical Industry

As a critical component in patient healthcare, medical device manufacturing is highly regulated and requires the utmost attention to sanitation, safety, and biocompatibility. Used both...

Electropolishing Solutions for the Medical Industry
News : Medical
What it Does, How it Works
What it Does, How it Works

Electropolishing is often referred to as a “reverse plating” process. Electrochemical in nature, electropolishing uses a combination of rectified current and a blended chemical electrolyte bath to remove flaws...

What it Does, How it Works
News : Medical
Cutting Tools and Drills
Cutting Tools and Drills

Cutting tools, drills, and blades are critical devices used in surgical procedures. Blades used in surgical procedures must be free from burrs and laser slag and remain sharp for accurate cutting. Remaining burrs...

Cutting Tools and Drills
News : Materials
Single-Operation Finish for Improved Biocompatibility of Implants
Single-Operation Finish for Improved Biocompatibility of Implants

Orthopedic and cardiovascular implants are some of the most common medical devices manufactured today that demand high levels of biocompatibility. To ensure better patient...

Single-Operation Finish for Improved Biocompatibility of Implants
News : Medical
Metal Finishing Capabilities
Metal Finishing Capabilities
In addition to electropolishing, other metal finishing capabilities include laser marking, which can be used to ensure compliance with the latest UDI requirements, and color anodizing, which can be used to improve part identification with vibrant hues.
Metal Finishing Capabilities
INSIDER : Materials
Addition of Tin Boosts Nanoparticle’s Photoluminescence
Addition of Tin Boosts Nanoparticle’s Photoluminescence

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have developed germanium nanoparticles with improved photoluminescence, making them potentially better materials for...

Addition of Tin Boosts Nanoparticle’s Photoluminescence
INSIDER : Materials
Changes Inside Hybrid Perovskite Crystals Give Clues to Improving Solar Cells
Changes Inside Hybrid Perovskite Crystals Give Clues to Improving Solar Cells

A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego has for the first time observed nanoscale changes deep inside hybrid perovskite crystals that...

Changes Inside Hybrid Perovskite Crystals Give Clues to Improving Solar Cells
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inspiring Young Scientists, One Tiny Fidget Spinner at a Time
Inspiring Young Scientists, One Tiny Fidget Spinner at a Time
ORNL staff scientist Adam Rondinone explains how his team made the tiny toy.
Inspiring Young Scientists, One Tiny Fidget Spinner at a Time
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Used Metal Additive Manufacturing?

Today's INSIDER featured a story about the growing role of metal additive manufacturing in industries like aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.

Q&A : Materials
Q&A: Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed, Senior Sensor Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD

Dr. Ahmed and scientists from NIST and American University are researching the use of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) as the basis for an inexpensive, easy-to-build gas sensing technology. The problem they faced is that newly...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hybrid 3D Printing Method for Flexible Electronics
Hybrid 3D Printing Method for Flexible Electronics

A new method for digital design and printing of stretchable, flexible electronics, called Hybrid 3D printing, was developed to integrate soft, conductive inks with a material substrate to...

Hybrid 3D Printing Method for Flexible Electronics
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design for Metal Additive Delivers New Standards for Metal Parts
Design for Metal Additive Delivers New Standards for Metal Parts

Metal additive manufacturing is being embraced as a choice for parts production across many fields — including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and other industries —...

Design for Metal Additive Delivers New Standards for Metal Parts
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Facility for Utilization Primarily in Microgravity Environments

The purpose of this innovation is to create the ability to manufacture off Earth, primarily in a microgravity environment. This additive manufacturing facility (AMF) will have the capability to build tools, parts, experimental hardware, and upgrade hardware...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Joining of Ti, Mo, and Ni Terminated Thermoelectric Segments via Brazing

The joining of low- and high-temperature thermoelectric materials (with ZT optimized to specific temperature ranges) to each other in a segmented configuration can lead to enhanced device efficiency. The resulting joints between these materials must be both chemically and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Printable Structures Self-Fold Without Heating or Immersion in Water
Printable Structures Self-Fold Without Heating or Immersion in Water

As 3D printing has become a mainstream technology, studies have investigated printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated...

Printable Structures Self-Fold Without Heating or Immersion in Water
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Objects Connect to WiFi Without Electronics
3D-Printed Objects Connect to WiFi Without Electronics

CAD models have been developed that enable objects to be 3D-printed out of commercially available plastics; these objects can wirelessly communicate with other smart devices, including a...

3D-Printed Objects Connect to WiFi Without Electronics
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Extrusion Method Improves Structural Properties of Magnesium
Extrusion Method Improves Structural Properties of Magnesium

Magnesium is 75 percent lighter than steel, 33 percent lighter than aluminum, and is the fourth most common element on Earth behind iron, silicon, and oxygen. But despite its light...

Extrusion Method Improves Structural Properties of Magnesium
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Resolution, 3D Cell-Printing of Living Tissues

Printing high-resolution living tissues is difficult, as the cells often move within printed structures, and can collapse on themselves. A method of 3D-printing laboratory-grown cells to form living structures was developed that produces tissues in self-contained cells that support the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Stress-Induced Nanofabrication

Currently, the synthesis of nanomaterials relies on special inter-particle chemical and physical reactions, which restricts their development. However, stress-induced nanofabrication can effectively render arrays of nanomaterials uniform in length, diameter, and density.