Materials

Optical Method Detects Weak Spots in Jet Engine Coatings

Researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that an optical analysis method can reveal weak areas in ceramic thermal barrier coatings that protect jet engine turbines from high temperatures and wear. The technique could be used to predict how long coatings would last on an airplane. The lifetime of a thermal barrier coating used on airplane turbine blades can range from as little as 1,000 hours up to 10,000 hours at full turbine thrust, even when the coating is applied in the exact same way.

Posted in: News, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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New Form of Carbon Is Hard as a Rock, But Elastic Like Rubber

A team of scientists has developed a form of ultra-strong, lightweight carbon that is also elastic and electrically conductive. A material with such a unique combination of properties could serve a wide variety of applications from aerospace engineering to military armor.

Posted in: News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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Army Discovers New Energy Source

Army scientists and engineers recently made a groundbreaking discovery – an aluminum nanomaterial they designed produces high amounts of energy when it comes in contact with water, or with any liquid containing water.

Posted in: News, Defense, Materials
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Researchers Achieve Breakthrough in Nuclear Threat Detection Science

Taking inspiration from an unusual source, a Sandia National Laboratories team has dramatically improved the science of scintillators — objects that detect nuclear threats. According to the team, using organic glass scintillators could soon make it even harder to smuggle nuclear materials through America’s ports and borders.

Posted in: News, Defense, Materials, Detectors
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Batteries That “Drink” Seawater Could Power Long-Range UUVs

The long range of airborne drones helps them perform critical tasks in the skies. Now MIT spinout Open Water Power (OWP) aims to greatly improve the range of unpiloted underwater vehicles (UUVs), helping them better perform in a range of applications under the sea.

Posted in: News, Defense, Energy Storage, Materials, Robotics
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Super-Strong 'Glassy Carbon' is Elastic and Electric

A new compressed form of glassy carbon opens up possibilities for applications requiring low weight and high strength — from aerospace parts to football helmets.

Posted in: News, News, Ceramics
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Navy Chemists Develop Field-Repairable Transparent Armor

Research chemists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have developed and patented a transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor to reduce weight, inherent in most bullet-resistant glass, while maintaining superior ballistic properties. Thermoplastic elastomers are soft, rubbery polymers converted by physical means, rather than a chemical process, to a solid. Consequently, the solidification is reversible and enables damaged armor surfaces to be repaired ‘on-the-fly’ out in the field.

Posted in: News, Defense, Composites, Materials, Plastics
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Researchers Study Ceramic Material as Possible Lightweight Vehicle Armor

The U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL) and Australian Defence Science and Technology Group are collaborating to study ceramic materials for potential use in the design of military vehicle armor using neutrons at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor.

Posted in: News, Defense, Ceramics, Materials
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US Navy Synthesizes Slime to Assist Military Personnel

A team of U.S. Navy scientists and engineers at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) have successfully re-created a natural material used for marine wildlife defense to assist military personnel.

Posted in: News, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Biomaterials, Elastomers, Fibers, Materials properties
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Researchers Develop High-Performance, Clean Solid Rocket Propellant

A Purdue-related startup is developing a new rocket fuel formulation that could make rockets used in military and space applications travel further, carry greater payloads, and be safer for the environment. Brandon Terry, a Purdue alumnus and postdoctoral research associate in Purdue’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Chris Stoker, an Indiana University alumnus, co-founded the company Adranos Energetics to develop the technology to enhance rocket performance.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Propulsion
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