PMR-15 Polymide Resin
Inducted In: 1991, Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology
During the 1960s, research on protective coating materials at NASA’s Lewis Research Center demonstrated that a class of polymers known as condensation polymides could be fabricated into lightweight fiber reinforced plastics. These materials were capable of withstanding temperatures up to 6000 F for thousands of hours but were not initially easily utilized. Lewis researchers, led by Dr. Tito T. Serafini, perfected an improved polymide composition that eliminated inconsistent chemistries, use of hazardous solvents, and other process/structural problems.
The material, called PMR-15, reacts chemically to form a reinforced plastic that is highly resistant to heat and oxidation. Ferro Corporation and ICI Fiberite cautiously applied the material to a few selected “hot” sections of aircraft structures and engine components. As these applications accumulated flight time, designers gained more confidence in PMR-15 and the number of uses increased. GE Aircraft Engines pioneered this effort by producing PMR-15 advanced composite prepregs (fiber and resin blankets) for aircraft and jet engine applications. With a lightweight, low-cost substitute for titanium, these prepregs enabled jet engine manufacturers to significantly improve engine thrust-to-weight ratios without sacrificing structural integrity. At present, PMR-15 advanced composite materials are used by all of the major jet engine manufacturers. More recently, PMR-15 has been applied in aluminum strip processing, steel mills and finishing lines as self-lubricating composite wear liners and bushings used in high heat, high friction areas such as valve seats, wheels, pulleys, and insulators. Lasting ten times longer than its predecessor, aluminum bronze, and needing no grease, this durable and rugged material is bound to find many other commercial applications.
Beowulf Computing Cluster
Inducted In: Communications Technology, Computer Technology, Featured, Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology
A Beowulf Computing Cluster is a grouping of off-the-shelf computer hardware networked together with fast communication software. The resulting parallel processing power of the collection generates processing speeds faster than most super-computer systems used for complex processing – at a…
Inducted In: Computer Technology, Featured, Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology
The origin story of the CubeSat idea is clear-cut and well-known. It was conceived by two engineering professors as a teaching tool for students to get hands-on experience with satellite functionality. In the 1990’s Professor Robert Twiggs was teaching engineering…
Protective Coating for Ceramic Materials
Inducted In: Featured, Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology
Researchers at Ames had devised a silicon-based compound as part of the development of the X-33 and X-34 prototype planes. These planes were projected to fly at 15 times the speed of sound. The friction from these super-sonic speeds would…