NASA Engineer’s Invention Promises Aerospace Industry Breakthrough

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Insider Brief:

  • NASA engineer, Tim Smith has developed an innovative 3D-printable alloy capable of withstanding extreme conditions.
  • The new metal allow can withstand temperatures higher than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit allowing for the creation of lighter, thinner and stronger engine parts that can operate in the intense heat of jet and rocket engines.
  • Four companies have already licensed the new technology.

 

At the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, engineer Tim Smith has developed an innovative alloy that will soon change how jet engines and rockets are manufactured. This new 3D-printable alloy was created with the potential to unlock billions of dollars in economic impact and reshape the aerospace industry.

Smith’s invention addresses a critical challenge in engine design. As he explained earlier this month: “They wanted to operate there. And the metal that they could use wasn’t lasting for those temperatures.”

This, then, led Smith and his team to develop a new alloy capable of withstanding extreme conditions.

The new metal alloy boasts impressive characteristics, outperforming existing materials in durability and heat resistance. Smith demonstrated its capabilities.

“It’s really made for 2000 degrees Fahrenheit but can go higher,” said Smith. This temperature resistance allows for the creation of lighter, thinner and stronger engine parts that can operate in the intense heat of jet and rocket engines.

The potential applications of this technology extend far beyond NASA’s walls. Amy Hiltabidel, a Licensing Manager at NASA Glenn Research Center, went into its commercial promise: “We estimate that this technology has the potential of billions of dollars of economic impact in the United States.”

Already, four companies across the country have licensed the new technology, indicating strong industry interest.

Smith’s enthusiasm for his invention is evident, as he expressed his commitment to working on this project for the rest of his career, anticipating questions about it even twenty years from now. He conveyed his excitement about this long-term perspective by stressing the significance of the innovation and its potential to shape the future of aerospace engineering.

As NASA continues to drive technological advancements, Smith’s alloy joins a prestigious list of space-age innovations that have found applications in everyday life, from memory foam mattresses to smartphone camera technology. This latest invention from the Glenn Research Center demonstrates the ongoing impact of NASA’s research on both space exploration and terrestrial industries.

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