Weekly Tech Roundup | Nov 8, 2019

Weekly tech roundup: materials technology edition

Now is the perfect time to start the process of licensing the IP rights to federally-developed materials technology that could help you start a business or innovate an existing one.

These five featured materials technologies are available to entrepreneurs and businesses via a license agreement so they can be developed and introduced into the commercial market.

TechLink can help you navigate the entire licensing process at no cost to you.

Get your (also free) bonus download >>> Guide to Technology Transfer: How to License Technology from Federal Laboratories

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Reflective textile thread

Army scientists have invented a new reflective thread that may replace materials currently used in high-visibility clothing and safety equipment.

Unique to this solution is that fibers can be colored and provide more options beyond the common yellow and silver. The retro-reflective fibers can also be woven into fabrics and garments enabling patterning of reflectivity, maintaining the physical properties of the primary materials, and eliminating the potential for reflective components to be easily torn or pulled off.

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Sacrificial anode monitoring system for maintenance, corrosion prevention

Air Force engineers have designed and tested a device that measures the corrosion of a sacrificial anode by sensing the deterioration of the anode at different levels of anode thickness and remotely communicating with a data logger and a decision-maker.

The monitoring system provides timely information for maintenance actions, informs assumptions about lifecycle, and provides hard data for improved future designs.

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Deep reactive-ion silicon carbide etching

Navy scientists have developed a new method and structure for on-axis etching of silicon carbide (SiC) materials for MEMS components.

Etched hexagonal single-crystal materials are used in microelectromechanical systems and components such as beams, membranes, cantilevers, bridges, and field-effect transistor devices. This process addresses the undesirable side effects of the existing off-axis etching process.

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High-performance resins and polymers from vanillin

A team of Navy scientists has developed a class of high-performance resins and related polymers based on vanillin, a naturally occurring organic molecule that is widely available from biomass waste and lignin.

There is a growing need for domestically sourced composite resins that come from sustainable and renewable sources. For example, the military requires new high-performance composite resins with low water uptake for a weapon, aircraft, and sea platforms. However, nearly every industry can benefit from this discovery.

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Structural fuel cells

Army scientists have invented fuel cells that can serve a secondary purpose as structural members.

The researchers leveraged the combined structural properties such as strength and stiffness inherent in fuel cell materials together with their power-generating capability, so their fuel cells may be used to form structural elements of systems in which they are incorporated.

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