Advanced Materials and Processing Branch – The mission of Advanced Materials and Processing Branch (AMPB) is to develop advanced materials and processes that expand the engineering design space that enables and supports NASA missions. The research focuses on technologies directed toward producing useable items associated with load bearing structures, or devices used for instrumentation, and spans many materials classes including ceramics, metals, polymers, composites, and nano-materials. In order to rapidly infuse creative solutions and new innovations in these materials, the branch takes a ground-up approach to materials development, and the research therefore encompasses material synthesis, materials processing, analytical characterization, and computational methods to support these functions.
People- AMPB is a hybrid organization composed of approximately 40 civil servant and 30 contractors with technical backgrounds in metallurgy, ceramics, chemistry and materials. The branch is made up of research and test engineers; with over half of the personnel having PhD’s. The branch is supported by a group of technicians that mostly stem from another branch. In the summer our numbers swell with students and visiting scientists.1Facilities – AMPB has a very diverse set of facilities that are housed in several buildings at LaRC. In these facilities we have labs to cover all the research needs. These labs include the polymer synthesis and characterization, refractory ceramics processing and the multiparameter testing facility, the composites processing laboratory, the light alloy lab for materials characterization, the electronic materials lab and the radiation shielding materials, the radiation shielding exposure facilities on the ISS. BNNT and CNT fabrication.1c