Microgravity Fabrication of Freeze-cast Titanium Foams

PI: David Dunand, Northwestern University

The objective of this research includes creating and examining titanium oxide (first two campaigns) and titanium (third campaign) freeze-cast materials (which are not nanoporous, but rather exhibit directionally aligned macropores) in the microgravity environment provided by parabolic flight. This research is a continuation of T0100.

The research was selected for ISS testing in August 2016.

Article (October 2017): A cheaper way to stock up in space
Article (July 2017): Freeze-Casting Materials in Space: Meeting The Challenges of Vacuum and Microgravity
Paper (February 2017): Directional solidification of aqueous TiO2 suspensions under reduced gravity
Article (July 2016): Northwestern Experiment to Orbit Earth
Article (November 2015): Science In The Sky
Article (May 2015): Team to Fly on NASA’s Zero-Gravity Aircraft for Second Time

2017-2023 ISS research

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA10 Nanotechnology
  • TA12 Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing
Future Customers

Knowledge gained from the research may aid in the development of lightweight materials for the purpose of improved space systems, launch vehicles and payload systems. This will enhance the ability to extend and sustain human activities beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO) by creating a technology which increases the reliability and safety of access to space while also decreasing the overall costs.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    REDDI-F1-14 (Apr 2015)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 1 Parabolic

Development Team

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