Facility for Absorption and Surface Tension (FASTER) - 09.17.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Emulsions are very common on Earth: present in natural sources such as milk, and also in many man-made products. The Facility for Adsorption and Surface Tension (FASTER) investigates the physical principles which determine the stability of different emulsions, and which compounds can influence this. This knowledge from FASTER can aid industry by permitting the use and design of the best compounds to stabilize, or destabilize, different emulsions depending on their use, and optimising their utilisation towards more environmentally friendly products.
Science Results for Everyone
SASOL, , , Germany
BEIERSDORF, , , Germany
SAIF, , , Italy
CNR-DET CNR, , , Italy
HYDRO, , , Norway
NESTLE, , , Switzerland
UNILEVER, , , United Kingdom
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014
Previous ISS Missions
FASTER is scheduled for its first operations on ISS Increment 23/24.
- FASTER aims to determine the characteristics of liquid/liquid interface surfactant adsorption dynamics (how the surfactant interaction with liquids affects the flow).
- FASTER will investigate adsorption dynamics (how binding of molecules to a surface affects flow), surfactant transfer (when the surfactant crosses the liquid/liquid boundary), interfacial rheology (flow properties of interfaces), and the role of surfactants in stabilization (maintaining droplet interfaces).
Some fluid handling processes in space are prone to involve emulsions, and the microgravity environment may influence their lifetime of the emulsion’s properties. A good knowledge of the mechanisms involved, and their characteristic scales of time and length, can help engineers to predict the behaviour of emulsions, and factor that into the design of space systems.
Emulsions are present everywhere in our daily lives starting with milk and most dairy products, and including also common water-oil mixtures in other foods, and industrial products. Depending on the process or product it deals with, industry seeks greater knowledge of how to stabilize, or destabilize, an emulsion. FASTER can provide knowledge enabling optimisation of the design of emulsions, and their utilisation, towards the development of environmentally friendly products.