Materials

Ultra-lightweight Ceramic Withstands Extreme Temperatures

An extremely light, highly durable ceramic aerogel was developed that could ultimately be an upgrade for spacecraft insulation. The new material is made of thin layers of boron nitride with atoms that are connected in hexagon patterns, like chicken wire.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Ceramics, Materials
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New Coating Repels Ice from Any Surface

Researchers used a new theory in physics called stress localization to create a durable silicone polymer coating capable of repelling ice from any surface. The new material uses elastic energy localization where ice meets the material, triggering cracks at the interface that slough off the ice.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Coating/Surface Modification, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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New Products: February 2019 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Defense-Grade FPGAs

Xilinx, Inc. (San Jose, CA) announced availability of its Defense-grade XQ UltraScale+ portfolio of products, providing the benefits of its UltraScale+ architecture plus extended temperature and ruggedized packages to address the needs of the aerospace and defense industry. The new products encompass the XQ Zynq® UltraScale+ MPSoCs and RFSoCs, as well as XQ Ultra-Scale+ Kintex® and Virtex ® FPGAs.

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Automation, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Software, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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An Introduction to PCM Heat Sinks

With the exception of thermal storage heat sinks, the term heat sink is a misnomer. Standard heat sinks for electronics cooling are actually heat exchangers, taking the heat from the electronics, and transferring it to a fluid, either air or coolant. Phase Change Material (PCM) heat sinks are the only heat sinks that actually act as a (temporary) sink for heat. They are emerging in the thermal management realm to solve thermal problems in systems where active solutions cannot be used. When there is no place to dissipate the heat generated by electric components, a PCM heat sink is capable of absorbing the generated waste heat [1] .

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials
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Pulsed Microwave Plasma Instrumentation for Investigation of Plasma-Tuned Multiphase Combustion

Strategies to control solid rocket propellant regression rate require a robust throttling technique applicable to high performance propellant formulations. Currently, several methods to control and throttle either motors or subscale propellant strands exist, including chamber pressure control (e.g. pintle nozzles or rapid depressurization quench), infrared laser irradiation of the burning surface to increase burning rates, development of inherently unstable combustion chamber geometries (producing either local pressure or velocity perturbations), and electrically sensitive hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN)-based formulations in which burning rate is controlled by a voltage potential. However, these techniques are limited in that they either can only be used with low flame temperature (low specific impulse) propellants, result in low propulsion system mass fraction (pintle), are only capable of producing a single perturbation, or are formulation specific.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Energy, Materials, Power Transmission, Propulsion, RF & Microwave Electronics, Instrumentation
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NIF Experiments Support Warhead Life Extension

It was a normal morning for design physicist Madison Martin at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). At 7:45 a.m., she settled into her classified workstation with a cup of tea to check the results of a numerical calculation she ran overnight. If the calculations proved correct, the experiment she was designing on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) would deliver the data her colleagues needed to verify that a refurbished nuclear warhead would perform as expected.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Materials, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors
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Discovery Could Lead to Munitions That Go Further, Much Faster

Researchers from the U.S. Army and top universities discovered a new way to get more energy out of energetic materials containing aluminum, common in battlefield systems, by igniting aluminum micron powders coated with graphene oxide. This discovery coincides with the one of the Army's modernization priorities: Long Range Precision Fires. This research could lead to enhanced energetic performance of metal powders as propellant/explosive ingredients in the Army's munitions.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Materials, Propulsion
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Porous and Stiff Material for Aircraft Lightweighting

Researchers have developed and manufactured a family of architectures that maximizes the stiffness of porous, lightweight materials. 3D printing and other additive production techniques make it possible to manufacture materials with internal structures of previously unimaginable complexity. Achieving this requires that the internal structures be intelligently organized for maximum efficiency.

The stiffness in the material’s interior is achieved through plate-lattices rather than trusses. These structures that are up to three times stiffer than truss-lattices of the same weight and volume.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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Metal Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) – the process of building up solid layers of material to form a finished solid part — is an emerging and exciting technical discipline. Also referred to as “3D printing,” many misconceptions exist about the capabilities and promises of the technology.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Machinery, Mechanical Components
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Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization of 2-D and 3-D SiC/SiNC Ceramic-Matrix Composites

The purpose of this endeavor was to investigate the effect of 3-D weave architecture on PIP-processed ceramic-matrix composites (CMC). Microstructural studies were performed to document the resulting microstructure and mechanical testing was performed to determine the high-temperature durability of the five different variants of SiC/SiNC CMC investigated.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Imaging, Ceramics, Composites, Materials, Mechanical Components
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