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First Experiments Using the Materials Science Laboratory on Board the International Space Station

First Experiments Using the Materials Science Laboratory on Board the International Space Station,10.1007/s12217-010-9254-1,Microgravity Science and T

First Experiments Using the Materials Science Laboratory on Board the International Space Station  
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The Materials Science Laboratory is a unique tool designed to perform high temperature experiments from various fields of physics on board the International Space Station. During the first operating phase initiated in November 2009 the directional solidification of aluminum-silicon alloys is investigated. The experiments shall elucidate the influence of fluid flow within the melt on the microstucture of the casting. In contrast to terrestrial experiments fluid flow induced by convection is virtually absent under microgravity conditions. The Materials Science Laboratory allows for solidification under both diffusive and stimulated convective conditions. After processing on orbit samples are returned to earth for detailed analyses. A short description of the experimental setup is given to familiarize with the capability of the facility. One of the experiments is specified in detail including the preparations performed on ground and the execution on orbit. Corresponding telemetry data is analyzed and first results of the metallographic examination are presented.
Journal: Microgravity Science and Technology - MICROGRAVITY SCI TECHNOL , vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 345-353, 2011
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