Electromagnetic Levitator Batch 2 - Non-Equilibrium Solidification, Modeling for Microstructure Engineering of Industrial Alloys (EML Batch 2 - NEQUISOL) - 01.31.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The NEQUISOL experiment focuses on the microstructure investigation and determination of the growth velocity of nickel-aluminum (Ni-Al) and aluminum-copper (Al-Cu) samples. During the melting cycles, the growth velocity as a function of undercooling will be investigated. The nucleation is triggered by a needle, and the growth velocities are determined by videos obtained with a High Speed Camera.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by D. Herlach, 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)
D. Herlach, Germany

Charles-Andre Gandin, Ph.D., Ecole de Mines de Paris, ARMINES-CEMEF (CETSOL), 6904 Sophia Antipolis, France
A. Garcia-Escorial, England
H. Henein, Canada
HYDRO Al GmbH, Germany
MAGMA Giesserei Tech, Germany

European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
European Space Agency

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2016 - February 2017

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview
NEQUISOL focuses on the microscopic structure of nickel–aluminium and aluminium–copper alloys as they form around a needle, inserted when they are in liquid form. The alloys grow like sugar crystals on a stick, and scientists assess the speed of the alloy growth in microgravity.

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.
Three out of 23 samples in the Sample Container are used for the experiment:
  1. Al65Ni35 (ID#24) (Sample sharing with THERMOLAB project)
  2. Al89Cu11 (ID#25) (Sample sharing with THERMOLAB project)
  3. Al75Ni25 (ID#02) (Sample sharing with THERMOLAB project)
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.
General: 1 run per sample with 40 melting cycles per sample.
Samples to be returned:
  1. Al65Ni35
  2. Al89Cu11
  3. Al75Ni25.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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