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Experiments with Alexander Gerst: TRANSPARENT
Exploring melting under microgravity conditions – improving industrial casting processes One of the focal points of research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) is the investigation of crystal growth in metal alloys. Under microgravity conditions, differences in density in the molten material no longer occur. Mixing and thus mass transport through convection therefore play no part. What remains is the component of the mass transport that is determined only by the motion of the molecules themselves, known as diffusion. TRANSPARENT-1 will help researchers understand the behaviour of molten material as it solidifies and predict it as precisely as possible. This will allow for better simulation of casting processes on Earth. Two furnaces are used in the Materials Science Laboratory (MSL) to investigate crystal growth in metallic samples – the Low Gradient Furnace (LGF) and the Solidification and Quenching Furnace (SQF). The solidification of an organic model alloy of neopentyl glycol and camphor is to be investigated in situ in the new TRANSPARENT-1 facility in the Materials Science Glovebox. The experiments are carried out, monitored and evaluated on the ISS in close collaboration with researchers from the ACCESS Institute in Aachen. https://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11017/1813_read-26344/#/gallery/30247 #horizons #Alexander #Gerst
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