Materials

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

Dr. Ryan Kincer demonstrates the elasticity of the hagfish slime secreted from the the Pacific hagfish within the net aboard Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD). (U.S. Navy photo by Ron Newsome (Released) 161129-N-PB086-014) 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

Chris Stoker, an Indiana University alumnus, and Brandon Terry, a Purdue postdoctoral research associate, are pictured burning samples of solid rocket fuel propellant in the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories at Purdue. (Photo: Purdue Research Foundation) 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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Army Explores 3-D Printing's Future Applications

These parts were made using additive manufacturing, which creates plastic items and other durable components by adding material, layer by layer, using 3-D printers. (Photo: U.S. Army) A soldier heads back to camp, grabs a power bar and unloads his gear. The power bar, which was "printed" minutes earlier, contains all the nutrients his body currently needs, according to sensors that are embedded in his uniform. While this may sound like a scene from a sci-fi movie, engineers and scientists at the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) are looking at ways to use additive manufacturing (aka 3-D printing) to make it a reality.

Posted in: Articles, News, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics

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Advances in Lightweight Electronics Protection

Conformal Coatings Increase Reliability of Aerospace and Military AssembliesLightweighting continues to be a key topic for the aerospace, avionics and defense industries as new metals and composites are being integrated into end products and assemblies with the goal of decreasing overall system weight. As technologies continue to evolve, with components often decreasing in size and increasing in complexity, the materials used to manufacture and protect the latest components and systems are also improving. Whether used in commercial or military aircraft, rockets, satellites, terrestrial or water vessels, or the latest in unmanned air, land and sea vehicles; systems within these industries must meet similar requirements – assemblies, components and electronics must be both lightweight and designed to withstand harsh operating conditions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics, Coatings & Adhesives, Avionics, Electronic equipment, Lightweight materials, Lightweighting, Military vehicles and equipment

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Epitaxial Growth of Rhenium with Sputtering

What works better – DC or RF sputtering?Epitaxial superconducting films of refractory metals are a promising new template for single crystal tunnel barriers in Josephson junction quantum bit (qubit) devices. In existing Josephson junction qubits, it is believed that the widely-used amorphous AlOx tunnel barriers have undesirable two-state fluctuators. It is speculated that single-crystal tunnel barriers such as sapphire (α-Al2O3) may be free of such decoherence sources.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Computer software and hardware, Conductivity, Metals, Refractory materials

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Processing and Characterization of Polycrystalline YAG (Yttrium Aluminum Garnet) Core-Clad Fibers

New techniques could make polycrystalline YAG suitable for use in fiber lasers.YAG-based fiber lasers could offer efficient operation at power levels beyond those achievable in current state-of-the-art silica-based fiber lasers if losses can be minimized. To address this, researchers have investigated creating both single-crystal and polycrystalline YAG fibers. Among the cases reported is the preparation of single-crystal YAG fibers using laser heated pedestal growth (LHPG), which resulted in fiber diameters of 400 μm and optical losses around 1–2 dB/m in the 1–3 μm wavelength range. Single-crystal YAG fibers with diameters of ~ 30 μm have even been reported.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Finite element analysis, Fiber optics, Lasers, Materials identification

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Multi-Scale Analysis of Deformation and Failure in Polycrystalline Titanium Alloys Under High Strain Rates

Developing a crystal plasticity-based computational modeling tool for predicting performance.Extensive use of titanium alloys in critical industrial and military applications, such as compressor blades of jet engines and armor of ground combat vehicles, has motivated researchers to understand, measure and tailor the mechanical properties of these alloys over a wide range of strain rates and temperatures. Of special interest has been the mechanical response of these alloys under high rates of deformation and failure under cyclic/dwell fatigue.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Aircraft structures, Body panels, Failure modes and effects analysis, Materials properties, Titanium alloys, Military vehicles and equipment

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Abrasion Testing of Products Containing Nanomaterials

Ensuring repeatable results when capturing and analyzing released particles.This SOP describes how to detect and quantify the release of nanoparticles from surface coatings into the air using a mechanical process that employs abrasion to simulate sanding. A material containing nanoparticles will be physically abraded and the materials released will be collected in a custom abrasion testing system. They will then be characterized by different methods such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and other methods.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Microscopy, Nanomaterials, Wear, Test procedures

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