Materials

Nano-Barrier Could Strengthen Spacecraft Payloads

The University of Surrey developed a robust, multi-layered nano-barrier for ultra-lightweight and stable carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) that could be used to build high precision instrument structures for future space missions.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives
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New Standards Developed to Improve Metal Detector Testing

Metal detectors now appear routinely in the entrances of many schools, airports and even houses of worship. They serve as portals to correctional facilities, prisons and courthouses, and guards often wave hand-held models around the bags of incoming ticketholders at sports arenas. The increased usage is making it more important than ever to know that these machines will always work as expected and can be counted on to help detect weapons and other threats. To help meet these demands, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have researched and developed four metal detection testing standards. Three have been published by the ASTM International standards organization and a fourth is still in development.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Metals, Inspection Equipment, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Researchers Shine a Light on Wearable Technology

Researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center are looking at LEDs to help warfighters battle chemical warfare agents (CWA). Co-primary investigators, Hui Wang, Ph.D. and John Landers, Ph.D. are investigating ways to embed tiny light sources in warfighter uniforms.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, LEDs, Materials, Detectors, Sensors, Wearables
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Memory Metals Shape the Evolution of Aviation

Shape-memory alloy (SMA) is a functional metal with unique properties that allow it to be trained to move on its own. Researchers at NASA Glenn partnered with Boeing to test how shape-memory alloys can be used in deployable vortex generators (VGs), the tiny fins you might have noticed on airplane wings that help control airflow during flight.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Materials, Metals
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Researchers Turn to Carbon Nanotubes to Build Better Heat Shields

The world of aerospace increasingly relies on carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites to build the structures of satellites, rockets, and jet aircraft. But the life of those materials is limited by how they handle heat.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Imaging, Materials, Propulsion
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“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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