Profile of NASA Inventor Robert G Bryant

Rob Bryant
LaRC-SI inventor Rob Bryant, a senior researcher at Langley Research Center, examines a laboratory model of the cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device. NASA Photographer: Sean Smith

Chemical engineer, Doctor Robert G Bryant works for NASA's Langley Research Center and has patented numerous inventions. Highlighted below are just two of the award winning products that Bryant has helped invent while at Langley.

LaRC-SI

Robert Bryant headed the team that invented Soluble Imide (LaRC-SI) the self-bonding thermoplastic that received an R&D 100 award for being one of the most significant new technical products of 1994.

While researching resins and adhesives for advanced composites for high-speed aircraft, Robert Bryant, noticed that one of the polymers he was working with did not behave as predicted. After putting the compound through a two-stage controlled chemical reaction, expecting it to precipitate as a powder after the second stage, he was surprised to see that the compound remained soluble.

According to a NasaTech report LaRC-SI proved to be a moldable, soluble, strong, crack-resistant polymer that could withstand high temperatures and pressures, unlikely to burn, and was resistant to hydrocarbons, lubricants, antifreeze, hydraulic fluid, and detergents.

Applications for LaRC-SI have included use with mechanical parts, magnetic components, ceramics, adhesives, composites, flexible circuits, multilayer printed circuits, and coatings on fiber optics, wires, and metals.

2006 NASA Government Invention of the Year

Robert Bryant was part of the team at NASA's Langley Research Center that created Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) the flexible and durable material that uses ceramic fibers.

By applying voltage to the MFC, the ceramic fibers change shape to expand or contract and turn the resulting force into a bending or twisting action on the material.

MFC is used in industrial and research applications for vibration monitoring and dampening, for example, improved helicopter rotor blades research, and vibration monitoring of support structures near the space shuttle pads during launches.

The composite material can be used for pipeline crack detection and is being tested in wind turbine blades.

Some non-aerospace applications being evaluated include suppressing vibration in performance sporting equipment such as skis, force and pressure sensing for industrial equipment and sound generation and noise cancellation in commercial grade appliances.

"The MFC is the first of its type composite that is specifically engineered for performance, manufacturability and reliability," said Robert Bryant, "It's this combination that creates a ready-to-use system capable of morphing into a variety of uses on Earth and in space."

1996 R&D 100 Award

Robert G Bryant received the 1996 R&D 100 Award presented by R&D magazine for his role in developing THUNDER technology along with fellow Langley researchers, Richard Hellbaum, Joycelyn Harrison, Robert Fox, Antony Jalink, and Wayne Rohrbach.

Patents Granted

  • #7197798, April 3, 2007, Method of fabricating a composite apparatus
    A method for fabricating a piezoelectric macro-fiber composite actuator comprises making a piezoelectric fiber sheet by providing a plurality of wafers of piezoelectric material, bonding the wafers together with an adhesive material to form a stack of alternating layers of piezoelectric...
  • #7086593, August 8, 2006, Magnetic field response measurement acquisition system
    Magnetic field response sensors designed as passive inductor-capacitor circuits produce magnetic field responses whose harmonic frequencies correspond to states of physical properties for which the sensors measure. Power to the sensing element is acquired using Faraday induction.
  • #7038358, May 2, 2006, Electro-active transducer using radial electric field to produce/sense out-of-plane transducer
    An electro-active transducer includes a ferroelectric material sandwiched by first and second electrode patterns. When the device is used as an actuator, the first and second electrode patterns are configured to introduce an electric field into the ferroelectric material when voltage
  • #7019621, March 28, 2006, Methods and apparatus to increase sound quality of piezoelectric devices
    A piezoelectric transducer comprises a piezoelectric component, an acoustic member attached to one of the surfaces of the piezoelectric component and a dampening material of low elastic modulus attached to one or both surfaces of the piezoelectric transducer...
  • #6919669, July 19, 2005, Electro-active device using radial electric field piezo-diaphragm for sonic applications
    An electro-active transducer for sonic applications includes a ferroelectric material sandwiched by first and second electrode patterns to form a piezo-diaphragm coupled to a mounting frame...
  • #6856073, February 15, 2005, Electro-active device using radial electric field piezo-diaphragm for control of fluid movement
    A fluid-control electro-active device includes a piezo-diaphragm made from a ferroelectric material sandwiched by first and second electrode patterns configured to introduce an electric field into the ferroelectric material when voltage is applied thereto...
  • #6686437, February 3, 2004, Medical implants made of wear-resistant, high-performance polyimides, process of making same and
    A medical implant having at least a portion thereof made of a formable, pyromellitic, dianhydride (PMDA)-free, non-halogenated, aromatic polyimide is disclosed. Further disclosed are a process of manufacturing the implant and a method of implanting the implant in a subject in need thereo...
  • #6734603, May 11, 2004, Thin layer composite unimorph ferroelectric driver and sensor
    A method for forming ferroelectric wafers is provided. A prestress layer is placed on the desired mold. A ferroelectric wafer is placed on top of the prestress layer. The layers are heated and then cooled, causing the ferroelectric wafer to become prestressed...
  • #6629341, October 7, 2003, Method of fabricating a piezoelectric composite apparatus
    A method for fabricating a piezoelectric macro-fiber composite actuator comprises providing a piezoelectric material that has two sides and attaching one side upon an adhesive backing sheet...
  • #6190589, February 20, 2001, Fabrication of molded magnetic article
    A molded magnetic article and fabrication method are provided. Particles of ferromagnetic material embedded in a polymer binder are molded under heat and pressure into a geometric shape...
  • #6060811, May 9, 2000, Advanced layered composite polylaminate electroactive actuator and sensor
    The present invention relates to the mounting of pre-stressed electroactive material in such a manner that large displacement actuators or sensors result. The invention comprises mounting the pre-stressed electroactive material to a support layer...
  • #6054210, April 25, 2000, Molded magnetic article
    A molded magnetic article and fabrication method are provided. Particles of ferromagnetic material embedded in a polymer binder are molded under heat and pressure into a geometric shape...
  • #6048959, April 11, 2000, Tough soluble aromatic thermoplastic copolyimides
  • #5741883, April 21, 1998, Tough, soluble, aromatic, thermoplastic copolyimides
  • #5639850, June 17, 1997, Process for preparing a tough, soluble, aromatic, thermoplastic copolyimide
  • #5632841, May 27, 1997, Thin layer composite unimorph ferroelectric driver and sensor
    A method for forming ferroelectric wafers is provided. A prestress layer is placed on the desired mold. A ferroelectric wafer is placed on top of the prestress layer. The layers are heated and then cooled, causing the ferroelectric wafer to become prestressed.
  • #5599993, February 4, 1997, Phenylethynyl amine
  • #5545711, August 13, 1996, Polyazomethines containing trifluoromethylbenzene units
  • #5446204, August 29, 1995, Phenylethynyl reactive diluents
  • #5426234, June 20, 1995, Phenylethynyl terminated reactive oligomer
  • #5412066, May 2, 1995, Phenylethynyl terminated imide oligomers
  • #5378795, January 3, 1995, Polyazomethines containing trifluoromethylbenzene units
  • #5312994, May 17, 1994, Phenylethynyl endcapping reagents and reactive diluents
  • #5268444, December 7, 1993, Phenylethynyl-terminated poly(arylene ethers)
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Bellis, Mary. "Profile of NASA Inventor Robert G Bryant." ThoughtCo, Jul. 17, 2017, thoughtco.com/african-american-inventors-at-nasa-1991377. Bellis, Mary. (2017, July 17). Profile of NASA Inventor Robert G Bryant. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/african-american-inventors-at-nasa-1991377 Bellis, Mary. "Profile of NASA Inventor Robert G Bryant." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/african-american-inventors-at-nasa-1991377 (accessed December 11, 2017).