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The NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center drop tube user's manualA comprehensive description of the structural and instrumentation hardware and the experimental capabilities of the 105-meter Marshall Space Flight Center Drop Tube Facility is given. This document is to serve as a guide to the investigator who wishes to perform materials processing experiments in the Drop Tube. Particular attention is given to the Tube's hardware to which an investigator must interface to perform experiments. This hardware consists of the permanent structural hardware (with such items as vacuum flanges), and the experimental hardware (with the furnaces and the sample insertion devices). Two furnaces, an electron-beam and an electromagnetic levitator, are currently used to melt metallic samples in a process environment that can range from 10(exp -6) Torr to 1 atmosphere. Details of these furnaces, the processing environment gases/vacuum, the electrical power, and data acquisition capabilities are specified to allow an investigator to design his/her experiment to maximize successful results and to reduce experimental setup time on the Tube. Various devices used to catch samples while inflicting minimum damage and to enhance turnaround time between experiments are described. Enough information is provided to allow an investigator who wishes to build his/her own furnace or sample catch devices to easily interface it to the Tube. The experimental instrumentation and data acquisition systems used to perform pre-drop and in-flight measurements of the melting and solidification process are also detailed. Typical experimental results are presented as an indicator of the type of data that is provided by the Drop Tube Facility. A summary bibliography of past Drop Tube experiments is provided, and an appendix explaining the noncontact temperature determination of free-falling drops is provided. This document is to be revised occasionally as improvements to the Facility are made and as the summary bibliography grows.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Rathz, Thomas J.
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville., United States)
Robinson, Michael B.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1990
Subject Category
Materials Processing
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:100392
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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