Materials

“Circulatory” Air Conditioning Could Keep Planes Cooler

The complex network of veins that keeps us cool during the heat of summer has inspired engineers to create novel thermal management systems. A new computer program could be key to mimicking the body’s evolution-optimized cooling system in functional materials.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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Composite Metal Foam Outperforms Aluminum for Aircraft Wings

The leading edges of aircraft wings have to meet a very demanding set of characteristics. New research shows that a combination of steel composite metal foam (CMF) and epoxy resin has more desirable characteristics for use as a leading-edge material than the aluminum currently in widespread use.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials, Metals
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Army Hopes to Use AI to Create More-Efficient Fuel Cells

As part of an effort to address the gap the U.S. Army faces in its need for long-lasting power and batteries for warfighters, an Army-funded research team has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that officials say identifies a promising material for creating more-efficient fuel cells. Researchers said the system, developed at Cornell University, is a potential breakthrough in both materials science and machine learning. It relies on a collective of algorithmic bots, each performing a distinct task and sifting through hundreds to thousands of combinations of elements to create a map of phases—arrangements of atoms in relation to each other—that humans can then use to determine which might work as a new material.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Power, Simulation Software, Software
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Air Force Scientists Discover Unique Stretchable Conductor

The Air Force Research Laboratory has developed liquid metal systems which autonomously change structure so that they become better conductors in response to strain. Conductive materials change their properties as they are strained or stretched. Typically, electrical conductivity decreases and resistance increases with stretching.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Electronics, Materials
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Coating Improves Pilots’ Visibility in Rainstorms

An Air Force Research Laboratory-developed product called HydroSkip repels water from aircraft transparencies, addressing the issue of limited visibility caused by heavy rain that can impair the pilot’s ability to navigate the plane and land safely.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Coating/Surface Modification, Materials
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Space Weather’s Critical Effects on Satellite Materials

The Air Force Research Laboratory has investigated the effects of space weather damage to polyimides – materials used extensively in spacecraft construction due to their high heat resistance. The researchers determined the previously unknown chemical and physical effects of electron bombardment in Earth's magnetosphere on these polymers.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials
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Air Force Scientists Study Artificial Silk for Body Armor, Parachutes

Who doesn’t like to feel warm in the winter and cool in the summer?

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Wearables
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Air Force Produces Light, Thin Transparent Armor

The Air Force Research Laboratory is manufacturing transparent ceramic armor for both air and ground vehicles. ALON is a transparent ceramic material composed of aluminum, oxygen, and nitrogen. It begins as a powder that is formed into unique shapes and made transparent through the application of high temperature and pressure.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Ceramics, Materials
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AFRL Achieves “Shocking” Materials Technology Breakthrough

The Air Force Research Laboratory, along with research partners at Los Alamos National Laboratory, are working to change the shape of materials technology with a breakthrough development that could open up a new range of possibilities for the military and beyond. The collaborative team has developed a 3-D printed polymer-based foam structure that responds to the force of a shock wave to act as a one-way switch, a long sought-after goal in shock research.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Plastics
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US and Japanese Scientists Conduct Joint Composites Study

Dr. Keisuke Umezawa of the Air Systems Research Center in the Japanese Ministry of Defense (JMoD) recently joined the Air Force Research Laboratory on an engineers and scientists exchange program (ESEP). The JMoD chose Umezawa for the ESEP based on his experience as a stress analysist of polymer matrix composite materials. Also, Umezawa has been heavily involved in the development of the next generation Japanese fighter aircraft, including the development of the test program for prototype PMC structures.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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