Testing a Novel Technology for a Key Material Property Measurement- Application to Advanced Manufacturing in Space

PI: Ranga Narayanan, University of Florida - Gainesville

The Testing a Novel Technology for a Key Material Property Measurement-Application to Advanced Manufacturing in Space project will assess a novel method for manufacturing metals and alloys in microgravity. Specifically, this technique will evaluate electrostatic resonance conditions caused by oscillatory electric fields at two different levels of gravity. This resonance is correlated with interfacial tension and can be used as a method of measurement to predict the efficacy of printing metals and alloys in space. Data collected during parabolic flights will ultimately advance high-temperature interfacial printing systems.

Technology Areas (?)
  • NA
Problem Statement

An accurate knowledge of surface tension is required for effective additive manufacturing on a lunar base, especially for fabricating metals and alloys. Current state of the art for measuring surface tension is limited in scope and challenging in high-temperature environments.

Technology Maturation

Flight tests will evaluate the onset of resonance conditions by employing alternating electrostatic fields across the interface of two liquids and observing instabilities through imaging.The critical voltage difference to create the resonant state–which is strongly influenced by gravity level –is then correlated to the interfacial tension.Flight data will be compared with data from ground testing and predictions from current theoretical models, advancing the system to TRL 5 or 6.

Future Customers

•Producing metals and glasses for space-and ground-based applications
•Crystal growth
•In-space manufacturing

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    TechFlights20 (Sep 2020)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 2 Parabolic

Development Team

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