Microgravity studies of solidification patterns in model transparent alloys onboard the International Space Station

S. Akamatsu, S. Bottin-Rousseau, V. T. Witusiewicz, U. Hecht, M. Plapp, A. Ludwig, J. Mogeritsch, M. Şerefoğlu, N. Bergeon, F. L. Mota, L. Sturz, G. Zimmermann, S. McFadden, W. Sillekens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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We review recent in situ solidification experiments using nonfaceted model transparent alloys in science-in-microgravity facilities onboard the International Space Station (ISS), namely the Transparent Alloys (TA) apparatus and the Directional Solidification Insert of the DEvice for the study of Critical Liquids and Crystallization (DECLIC-DSI). These directional-solidification devices use innovative optical videomicroscopy imaging techniques to observe the spatiotemporal dynamics of solidification patterns in real time in large samples. In contrast to laboratory conditions on ground, microgravity guarantees the absence or a reduction of convective motion in the liquid, thus ensuring a purely diffusion-controlled growth of the crystalline solid(s). This makes it possible to perform a direct theoretical analysis of the formation process of solidification microstructures with comparisons to quantitative numerical simulations. Important questions that concern multiphase growth patterns in eutectic and peritectic alloys on the one hand and single-phased, cellular and dendritic structures on the other hand have been addressed, and unprecedented results have been obtained. Complex self-organizing phenomena during steady-state and transient coupled growth in eutectics and peritectics, interfacial-anisotropy effects in cellular arrays, and promising insights into the columnar-to-equiaxed transition are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Journalnpj Microgravity
Issue number1
Early online date18 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 18 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the European (ESA), American (NASA), French (CNES), German (DLR), and Austrian (FFG-ASAP) space agencies for their long-term support. We thank the E-USOC of Madrid (Spain) and the CADMOS of Toulouse (France) for their support to TA and DECLIC-DSI operations, respectively.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Springer Nature Limited.


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