NanoRacks-Faith Christian Academy-Concrete Mixing Experiment (NanoRacks-FCA-Concrete Mixing) - 03.19.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone NanoRacks-Faith Christian Academy-Concrete Mixing Experiment (NanoRacks-FCA-Concrete Mixing) is a NanoLab project to compare the strength and molecular structure of concrete mixed in microgravity compared with similar ground mixed concrete. The comparison is made using an Atomic Force Microscope after the NanoLab is returned to earth.

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending



This content was provided by Faith Christian Academy, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Faith Christian Academy , Coalinga, CA, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Clint Cowden, Faith Christian Academy, Coalinga, CA, United States

  • Developer(s)
    NanoRacks, LLC, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    National Laboratory Education (NLE)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    September 2011 - May 2012

    Expeditions Assigned
    29/30

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • While concrete is not likely to be used in space, studying the structural and settling properties of this mixture may lead to better understanding of the chemical and physical properties of similar mixtures.


    • If it is found that mixing concrete in microgravity produces concrete of sufficient strength, then one could mix concrete and build concrete buildings on the moon or mars.


    • Two containers of concrete are vibrated one at time while water is added to the mixture. The resulting two concrete mixtures set and return to earth via the Russian Soyuz. The two mixtures are compared to ground mixed concrete using an Atomic Force Microscope, allowing the study of both the structural and settling properties of this mixture. This may lead to better understanding of the chemical and physical properties of similar mixtures.


    • NanoRacks-Faith Christian Academy-Concrete Mixing Experiment (NanoRacks-FCA-Concrete Mixing) adds to the general public?s knowledge and brings space research to a high school level. The research helps future schools replicate the experiment and perform their own unique concrete mixing experiments.

    Description
    The NanoRacks-Faith Christian Academy-Concrete Mixing Experiment is composed of two concrete mixing chambers each one containing the concrete and a mechanical concrete mixing vibrator. Pressurized water is added to the mixture by opening the water control valve and the microcomputer turns on the concrete mixing vibrator for a pre-determined period of time. The mixed concrete is allowed to set and is returned to earth via the Russian Soyuz. The students compare the space mixed concrete against concrete mixed on the ground using the Valley Christian High School Atomic Force Microscope, which facilitates microscopic structural analysis.

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    Applications

    Space Applications
    While concrete is not likely to be used in space, studying the structural and settling properties of this mixture may lead to better understanding of the chemical and physical properties of similar mixtures. If it is found that mixing concrete in microgravity produces concrete of sufficient strength, then one could mix concrete and build concrete buildings on the moon or the planet mars that have smaller gravity fields.

    Earth Applications
    Utilizing the unique microgravity environment on the International Space Station allows for determining the fundamental physical properties that occur when concrete is mixed and settles. By removing the force of gravity, it is hoped that the molecular structure of concrete and the properties that control its strength leads to developing a more robust form of concrete to be used on Earth.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements
    NanoRacks Module-16 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. NanoRacks Module?16 returns to earth via a Russian Soyuz return capsule.

    Operational Protocols
    Crew interaction with Module-16 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary), and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

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    Results/More Information

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    Related Websites
    Nanoracks
    Valley Christian Schools

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    Imagery

    image NanoRacks-Faith Christian Academy-Concrete Mixing Experiment Block Diagram. Image courtesy of Faith Christian Academy.
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