NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Particle Engulfment and Pushing (PEP): Past Micro-Gravity Experiments and Future Experimental Plan on the International Space Station (ISS)The interaction of an insoluble particle with a growing solid-liquid interface (SLI) has been a subject of investigation for the four decades. For a metallurgist or a material scientist understanding the fundamental physics of such an interaction is relevant for applications that include distribution of reinforcement particles in metal matrix composites, inclusion management in castings, and distribution of Y2Ba1Cu1O5 (211) precipitates (flux pinning sites) in Y1Ba2Cu3O7 (123) superconducting crystals. The same physics is also applicable to other areas including geological applications (frost heaving in soils) and preservation of biological cells. Experimentally this interaction can be quantified in terms of a critical growth velocity, Vcr, of the SLI below which particles are pushed ahead of the advancing interface, and above which the particles are engulfed. Past experimental evidence suggests that this Vcr is an inverse function of the particle radius, R. In order to isolate the fundamental physics that governs such a relationship it is necessary to minimize natural convection at the SLI that is inherent in ground based experiments. Hence for the purpose of producing benchmark data (Vcr vs. R) PEP is a natural candidate for micro-gravity experimentation. Accordingly, experiments with pure Al containing a dispersion of ZrO2 particles and an organic analogue, succinonitrile (SCN) containing polystyrene particles have been performed on the LMS and USMP-4 mission respectively. In this paper we will summarize the experimental data that was obtained during these two micro-gravity missions and show that the results differ compared to terrestrial experiments. We will also discuss the basic elements of our analytical and numerical model and present a comparison of the predictions of these models against micro-gravity experimental data. Finally. we will discuss our future experimental plan that includes the ISS glovebox and MSRRl.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sen, Subhayu (Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL United States)
Stefanescu, Doru M. (Alabama Univ. Tuscaloosa, AL United States)
Catalina, A. V. (Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL United States)
Juretzko, F. (Alabama Univ. Tuscaloosa, AL United States)
Dhindaw, B. K. (Indian Inst. of Tech. Kharagpur, India)
Curreri, P. A. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Whitaker, Ann F.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 31, 2001
Subject Category
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Meeting Information
Conference on International Space Station Utilization(Cocoa Beach, FL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.