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ISS Update: Interviews (March 18-22, 2013)
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ISS Update: Coarsening in Solid Liquid Mixtures-3 Experiment – 03.19.13
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NASA Public Affairs Officer Kelly Humphries interviews Northwestern University’s Principal Investigator of the Coarsening in Solid Liquid Mixtures-3 (CSLM-3) experiment, Peter Voorhees, Ph.D.

CSLM-3 is a materials science investigation that studies the growth and solidification processes (i.e., coarsening) in lead-tin solid-liquid mixtures that contain a small amount (low volume fraction) of tin branch-like (i.e., dendritic) structures, some of which possess many arms. During sample heating, the growth at the tip of each dendrite continues over time, whereas side branches, behind the tip, develop during constant temperature (i.e., isothermal) conditions.

Voorhees hopes that by understanding how temperature and time control the growth of such dendrites, researchers can develop more efficient and economical means of producing higher quality products derived from the casting of molten metal. The samples for this set of experiment runs will return to Earth for examination only a few days after the space sessions are complete on the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship. Voorhees said samples tend to deteriorate over time, so having them back on Earth for analysis just days after they are completed is a special opportunity for his team.

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