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Sensors/Data Acquisition

Products of Tomorrow

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Briefs
Materials

Developing Lightweight Glass for Efficient Cars and Wind Turbines

All solid materials, including glass, have a property called elastic stiffness — also known as elastic modulus. It's a measure of how much force per unit area is needed to...

R&D
Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D Printed Lightweight Knee Brace

Researchers have developed a lighter, yet more robust knee brace for the elderly who suffer from knee problems.

Articles
Materials

Finding the Perfect Aluminum for Additive Manufacturing

Make aluminum work for you (and your 3D-printing applications).

Articles
Aerospace

Weaving a New Future for Composites

The advantages of composites are rarely debated. Born mostly from aerospace research, incredibly light but strong creations such as carbon fiber have upended mass-to-strength formulas, changing the...

Articles
Aerospace

New Composites Target EV Applications

Lightweighting solutions that are financially viable, reliable and sustainable for conventionally powered vehicles are arguably even more important for electric vehicles (EVs). Range anxiety remains...

Briefs
Medical

Electronic Tattoo Enables Uninterrupted Heart Monitoring for Extended Periods

This wearable device is placed on the skin to measure a variety of body responses, from electrical to biomechanical signals.

Briefs
Manufacturing & Prototyping

Nature-Inspired, Manufactured, Non-Cuttable Material

The material could be used in security, health, industrial, and safety applications.

Articles
Power

NAWA Aims for 5-Minute EV Charge

A French nanomaterials company has developed a technology that it claims can significantly increase the storage efficiency of electric vehicle batteries. NAWA Technologies’ Ultra-Fast Carbon Electrode...

News
Power

Venting for EV Battery Packs

Batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) need protection from harsh external conditions. Generally located on the underside of the vehicle, EV battery enclosures protect the cells from exposure to water, dust,...

News
Power

Carbon Fiber Research Eyes Roof Frames, Doors

It’s not just for exotic “supercars” and motorcycles anymore. The performance-enhancing attributes of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics continue to be explored by global automakers as they...

Supplier Eye
Unmanned Systems

Understanding the Competitive Dynamic

As summer passes, the industry still is gritting its teeth amidst the restart from months of COVID-driven paralysis. OEMs and suppliers are bracing for a potential second wave, along with the impact...

Briefs
Materials

Carbon Nanotube/Polymer Composites with Electrical and Thermal Characteristics

These composites could improve how unmanned vehicles dissipate energy.

News
Materials

ALLEGRO Project Seeks to Boost Lightweight-Materials Durability

First define the lightweight material that best complements electric vehicle (EV) and automated-vehicle (AV) range efficiency – then optimize it for increased durability...

News
Design

Does EV Material Testing Need to Get Physical?

As the CEO of the ZwickRoell Group, Dr. Jan Stefan Roell oversees a multi-industry, materials-testing business. The family-owned company’s history of invention includes the first...

News
Energy

Getting a Grip on EV Fasteners

It may not get much R&D fanfare, but fastenings and their coatings will play an essential engineering role in electrified vehicles (EVs). There is an increasing demand from the auto industry for...

Application Briefs
Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal-Plated, High-Temperature Plastics

Imagine a material that lightens fuel loads and cuts costs every time a rocket blasts off from the launch pad.

Briefs
Sensors/Data Acquisition

Lightweight Exosuit Combines Robotics and Functional Apparel

Between walking and running, human gaits can cover a wide range of speeds; for example, at low speeds, the metabolic rate of walking is lower than that of running in a slow jog....

News
Manned Systems

Meritor Pursues Lightweighting Strategies for Drivelines

As with passenger vehicles, reducing the weight of systems and components in commercial vehicles is a key strategy to improve fuel efficiency. In the commercial-vehicle sector, the...

Technology Report
Nanotechnology

Top Mass-Cutting Innovations Receive Altair Enlighten Awards

Employing a mixed-material strategy that includes the latest advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and shedding 450 lb (205 kg) compared to its predecessor are major reasons why...

Articles
Motion Control

Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability

When engineer Mark Doyle started to put together plans for an exoskeleton to support surgeons in 2012, he wanted to develop a lightweight product that they could wear comfortably for...

Articles
Materials

Designing With Plastics for Military Equipment

U.S. soldiers carry loads of equipment and protective gear that can weigh anywhere from 45 to 130 pounds. This is more than enough to quickly tire even the most well-conditioned personnel,...

Articles
Transportation

Pros & Cons of Advanced Lightweighting Materials

Learn how advanced materials are creating high-efficiency engines, better powertrains, and lighter components.

Briefs
Sensors/Data Acquisition

Lightweight, Crack-Resistant, Silk Composite Sensor

New lightweight, energy-saving composites that won't crack or break even after prolonged exposure to environmental or structural stress are needed in industries such as civil infrastructure...

Briefs
Photonics/Optics

Compact, Lightweight, Athermal, Nanocomposite Telescopes with Freeform Optics

Small space missions such as CubeSats frequently require telescopes with highly sophisticated optical systems that are also low in mass and cost. The very limited spacecraft volume and mass limits also preclude adjustments to maintain critical alignment with change in...

Facility Focus
Research Lab

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901, and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Based in Gaithersburg, MD, it was established to remove...

Articles
Materials

The Heavy Impact of Advanced Lightweight Materials

Historically, high-strength materials have been heavy and dense. The need for high-strength but lightweight materials has become more widespread when designing everything from vehicles and...

Briefs
Green Design & Manufacturing

Algae Bioreactor Using Submerged Enclosures with Semi-Permeable Membranes

NASA has invented an innovative method to grow algae, clean wastewater, and capture carbon dioxide to ultimately produce biofuel. The invention consists of floating...

Briefs
Test & Measurement

Magnetic and Raman-Based Method for Process Control During Fabrication of Carbon-Nanotube-Based Structures

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed an innovative magnetic and Raman-based method for macroscopic process control during...