NASA's Composite Materials Bring Distinct Advantages


Strong, flexible, light-weight, and customizable – these are just a few reasons composite materials can be found just about anywhere you look, in space and on the ground. Whether you need a material that can take a thermal beating or the perfect tool to cut through one, we have a wide variety of technologies that could be perfect fits for your business. Check out a few that are ready for commercialization.

3D print composites that can take the heat

Need to produce composite parts with high-temperature capabilities on the fly? NASA has developed an additive manufacturing process that uses a laser to melt powdered resins containing carbon fibers to creature composite parts that can withstand temperatures over 300 degrees Celsius (572°F). The final product is lightweight with excellent impact resistance, making it useful for structural components of cars, ships, and industrial machinery.

Space-grade tech cuts through composites with ease—while also cutting costs

Composite materials offer high-strength solutions for a variety of projects – but the cost of cutting carbon fiber-based or polymer materials can stack up as traditional blades wear down. Enter the NASA-developed precision cutting technique that uses a one-two punch. First, a set of blades is coated in resin to improve durability. Second, an electrical current is sent through the blades to help it slice through the composite material. The cutter is also compact and highly accurate, wasting no space or materials.

Stop structure damage before it happens with downloadable software

Even the best-built structures don’t last forever. Wear-and-tear from regular use or environmental factors, such as rain and wind, eventually take their toll. But what if you could predict damage before it even happens? Enter NASA’s composite damage analysis software. Made specifically for fiber-reinforced plastic laminates, the downloadable software also monitors current damage to give you the timeline of a structure’s remaining lifespan if repairs aren’t done. Did we mention it’s free?

To browse NASA’s entire portfolio, please click here.

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