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Microwelding of various metallic materials under ultravacuum (AO 138-10)The first finding from the AO 138-10 is that cold welding never occurred, and that microwelds didn't even affect the reference (presumably microweld prone) pairs of metals consisting of gold, silver, and chromium. The scientific disappointment from these results must be tempered by the notion of a static AO 138-10 experiment, reflecting the passive character of the global Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) flight. Thus far, it has been theorized that cold welding results from the peeling of the oxide layer, that is formed in an earth environment, by the space environment since such a layer no longer grows in space. In fact, such stripping of the oxide layer supposes relative motion of the contacting materials. In the absence of such motion, as in this experiment, oxidation will preserve its integrity and continue to prevent microwelding. More bewildering is that there was no microwelding of the reference pairs. Even though AO 138-10 failed scientific expectations, as did the LDEF structure with cold welding, the positive, functional aspect to keep in mind is the safe operation of single-shot (appendage releasing and/or latching) mechanisms, unhindered by microwelding in a space vacuum, as now demonstrated by the statically representative pairs of materials. Other aspects of the experiment are discussed.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Assie, Jean Pierre
(Aerospatiale Cannes (France)., United States)
Conde, Eric
(Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Toulouse, France)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Langley Research Center, First LDEF Post-Retrieval Symposium Abstracts
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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