NanoRacks-Carmel Christian High School-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time (NanoRacks-CCHS-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Magnetorheological (MR) fluids are liquids that change shape or harden when exposed to a magnetic field, and they are used in a variety of technologies in space and on Earth. But Earth’s gravity causes the magnetic particles in an MR fluid to sink and clump together, which makes them less functional. NanoRacks-Carmel Christian High School-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time (NanoRacks-CCHS-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time) tests whether the particles in an MR fluid remain evenly suspended while in microgravity for 30 days.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Lorelei Beigtol, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-20 S/N 1003

Principal Investigator(s)
Carmel Christian High School , Carmel Christian High School , Matthews, NC, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Lorelei Beigtol, M.S., Carmel Christian High School, Matthews, NC, United States

Developer(s)
Carmel Christian High School, Matthews, NC, United States
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - March 2016

Expeditions Assigned
43/44,45/46

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Carmel Christian High School-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time (NanoRacks-CCHS-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time) tests a magnetorheological fluid’s ability to maintain its original state of functionality over a period of 30 days.
  • When subject to Earth’s gravity, the ferromagnetic microparticles in magnetorheological fluids settle because Brownian motion is not sufficient to keep the heavy particles in a colloidal suspension. This causes reduced functionality of magnetorheological fluids on Earth.
  • The hypothesis of the investigation is that in microgravity Brownian motion is sufficient for the fluid to remain at its original level of functionality.
  • If the fluid maintains the particles in the colloidal state, this maximizes potential functionality of the magnetorheological fluids for various applications in space.

Description
When subject to Earth’s gravity, the ferromagnetic microparticles in magnetorheological fluids settle because Brownian Motion is not sufficient to keep the heavy particles in a colloidal suspension. This causes reduced functionality of magnetorheological fluids on Earth. The purpose of this experiment is to determine if in microgravity Brownian Motion is sufficient for the fluid to remain at its original level of functionality. If the fluid maintains the particles in the colloidal state, this maximizes potential functionality of the magnetorheological fluids for various applications in space. .Inside the experiment  sub-module is a rectangular prism filled with glycerin. The glycerin acts as a carrier fluid for 0.5 mL of magnetorheological (MR) fluids. The prism containing the MR fluids and glycerin is positioned on a platform hooked onto a track that is powered by a stepper motor that rotates it, enabling linear motion to occur like a conveyor belt. This stepper motor moves the MR fluids into and out of proximity of two magnets positioned on opposing sides of the sub-module. Observations are recorded by an internal camera as the three-dimensional structure of MR fluid moves between the two magnets.

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Applications

Space Applications
MR fluids could have wide applications for the space program, including as a control mechanism for robots working alongside humans. This investigation studies whether MR fluids can remain functional for at least 30 days in microgravity. The investigation’s student designers hypothesize that Brownian motion, or the random movement of particles in a fluid, is enough to keep the magnetic particles evenly distributed throughout the fluid.

Earth Applications
Some vehicles and structures incorporate MR fluids as shock absorbers; the stiffness of magnetically-controlled shocks can be adjusted many times per second to ward against bumps in the road, gusts of wind or even earthquakes. This investigation provides new insight into how well these fluids maintain their integrity over time. In addition, the investigation was designed and built by students at Carmel Christian High School, providing a unique educational opportunity and a connection to the U.S. space program.
 

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

Data collection within the experiment is automated; downlink is done via scheduled STELLA/NanoRacks command window intervals for the NanoRacks Platform.  Payload is ambient and soft-stowed, but late loaded (approximately L-72 hr) and an early return.

Crew interaction is limited to transferring the NanoRacks Module from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installing the Module into a NanoRacks Platform, activating the NanoRacks Platform, data retrieval (as needed) during the mission, and destowing and returning the Module.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
NanoRacks
UNC Science Festival

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Imagery

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The NanoRacks-CCHS-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time investigation team from Carmel Christian High School, Matthews, NC.  Image courtesy of Carmel Christian High School.

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The NanoRacks-CCHS-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time investigation team completing flight unit testing prior to delivery. Image courtesy of Carmel Christian High School.

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The happy NanoRacks-CCHS-The Effect of Microgravity on the Magnetic Qualities of Magnetorheological Fluids Over Time student team after flight unit delivery. Image courtesy of Carmel Christian High School.

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