Electromagnetic Levitator Batch 2 - High-Precision Thermophysical Property Data of Liquid Metallic Alloys for Modelling of Industrial Solidification Processes (EML Batch 2 - THERMOLAB) - 01.25.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The THERMOLAB experiment focuses on thermophysical properties data measurement of industrial alloys in the liquid phase as a function of temperature. The property values obtained are used to increase the accuracy of numerical modeling of casting and solidification processes of metal alloys.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Hans J. Fecht, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Hans J. Fecht, Ph.D., Ulm University, Ulm, Germany

L. Battezzati, Italy
I. Egry, Germany
E. Ricci, Italy
S. Seetharaman
J. Etay, France
Yves Fautrelle, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Grenoble, France
K. Pericleous, United Kingdom
V. Bojarevics, United Kingdom
K. Kelton, United States
D. Matson, United States
Robert W. Hyers, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, United States
R. Wunderlich, Germany

European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
European Space Agency

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2016 - February 2017

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview
The THERMOLAB experiment seeks to improve models to help industrial casting and solidification techniques. THERMOLAB investigates the temperature and physical properties of industrial alloys in weightlessness in their liquid state. Industrial partners are keen to know more as the results could help them create existing alloys quicker, cheaper, and with less waste.

Information Pending

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Space Applications
Industry partners to the projects are seeking to optimize ground processes, and have a direct interest in the knowledge that is gained from the experiments. This can, in turn, find its way into the development of new light-weight, high-performance structural materials for space applications.

Earth Applications
Investigations carried out with the Electromagnetic Levitator (EML) provide both reference data on thermophysical properties and microstructure formation for the same metallic alloy samples. (The microstructure in an alloy influences its characteristic properties such as strength, flexibility and resistance to fatigue.) This information is of importance for feeding accurate data into current numerical models on one side, and also testing these models aiming to predict the solidification profile and related microstructure formation in the alloy samples. This concerns structural steels, magnetic materials, intermetallic materials, glass forming metallic alloys, etc.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

The EML is used, consisting of: Experiment Module, Experiment Control Electronics and High-Speed Camera Operating System, Levitation Power Supply and Water Cooling Module, Gas Supply Module, and Sample Chamber.
Five out of 23 samples in Sample Container used for experiment:
  1. TiAl46Ta8 (ID#32) (sample sharing with PARSEC and NASA ELFSTONE projects)
  2. Fe-15Cr-4Mo-1.5C-6B-2Y (ID#33)
  3. LM105 (ID#34) (sample sharing with SEMITHERM and NASA QUASI projects)
  4. CuNi3Si0.65Mg0.15 (ID#35) (sample sharing with NASA QUASI project)
  5. Zr-O (0.1) (ID#38) (THERMOLAB REF – reference/check-out/calibration).
After container installation by crew, all activities are fully commanded by the ground. Sample processing is executed during the crew sleep period, with continuous Ku and S band communications coverage so that micro-g-level and vibrations are known. One run per sample, with several different melting cycles per sample.
Samples to be returned:
  1. TiAl46Ta8
  2. Fe-15Cr-4Mo-1.5C-6B-2Y
  3. LM105
  4. Zr-O.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Information about the Electromagnetic Levitator used in THERMOLAB

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