NASA will showcase some of its most promising technologies which could lead to revolutionary products at the 42nd International Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering Symposium/Exhibition May 5-8 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

"NASA is driving cutting-edge technologies, and we're redoubling our efforts to get those technologies into industry's hands," said Michael Weingarten, NASA's manager for business development at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. "Our goal is to bring space technology down to Earth so U.S. companies can access new developments and improve U.S. competitive strength."

NASA invests more than $5 billion in technology development annually. "It makes sense to bring that cutting-edge technology back to U.S. taxpayers when such a huge investment is being made," Weingarten said. "Companies can work with NASA or with licensed NASA technicians in efforts that will lead to new company products. We can explore the best way to partner depending on each client's needs,"

Attendees will be able to enter a contest for a tour of Space Shuttle facilities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, FL, during the symposium.

A system to treat wastes from metal plating, semi-conductor production, photographic laboratories, food processing and aircraft de-icing operations is one technology to be presented at the symposium by NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The system also can be used for sea water and brackish water desalination.

Additional technologies developed at three other NASA Centers also are slated for presentation at the symposium.

From NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA:

- Manufacture of carbon/carbon composite materials. Some potential uses include aircraft and automobile brakes and heat dissipation for electronics.

- Energy-efficient microwave processing of materials. Possible uses of the process are ceramic/ceramic and ceramic/metal joining and semiconductor wafer annealing.

- Ultrasound non-destructive evaluation for composite materials. This system can be used to measure material thickness, stiffness, quality, integrity, porosity and resin content.

From NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA:

- Next generation molded magnets. These magnets, made with metallic particles and a polymer developed at Langley, could be used in transformers, motors and other equipment.

- Yarn density sensor. This optical sensor is used to determine the mass and density of textile yarn during manufacture.

- Non-toxic polyimide. Potential uses are to make composite materials for aircraft, automobile engine parts, circuit boards, adhesives, foams, resin-molded hardware and thin films.

From NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH:

- Design and analysis of composite materials and structures. This technology could be used for aerospace and automotive components, biomedical devices, civil structures, construction materials, heat exchangers, pressure vessels and piping, sporting goods, offshore drilling structures, transportation components, electronics and utility structures.

- Ceramics Analysis and Reliability Evaluation of Structures integrated design software. Potential uses are aerospace, automotive, propulsion and power, bioengineering and glass applications.

- Affordable silicon, carbide-based ceramics and fiber- reinforced composites. Uses under consideration are for hot sections of jet engines, nose cones, radiant heater tubes, heat exchangers, ceramic burner inserts and other applications.

- Advanced metallics. Commercial uses anticipated include: Copper-chromium-niobium alloys electrodes, welding, brazing, electrical, plastics and metal castings; and nickel aluminide die cast and glass-making molds, and many other uses.

- High-temperature polymer matrix composites. Potential uses include ductwork for jet engines and automotive engines and exhaust system parts, among other applications.

- Advanced diamond coatings. One possible use is for barriers for gears and bearings.

Previous technology spin-off success stories include how composite materials developed for the U.S. Space Shuttle are being used to improve golf clubs, how aircraft wing and body research led to use of liquid crystals in watches and thermometers, and how material developed for space suits now covers stadiums and airport terminals.

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