metallurgy in zero gravity

For the discussion of the sciences. Physics problems, chemistry equations, biology weirdness, it all goes here.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

HexaDecibel
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:06 pm UTC

metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby HexaDecibel » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:11 pm UTC

What would the implications be if we were to somehow smelt metals in a zero gravity environment? What kind of properties would this give the material?

totalnewbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:06 am UTC
Location: Japan

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby totalnewbie » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:26 pm UTC

Poor, due to slag (crap you don't want) not rising to the top. Implications: waste of time and effort.

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Indon » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:46 pm UTC

You could centrifuge it (which, admittedly, rather defeats the purpose of using a zero G environment).

Now, alloying smelted metals in zero gravity seems like it might be interesting.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

totalnewbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:06 am UTC
Location: Japan

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby totalnewbie » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:21 pm UTC

I can't imagine that it would, as most liquids are generally assumed to be homogeneous (though this isn't technically the case, it's not due to gravity) and it's the kinetics at the solid-liquid interface that causes the properties you see in solidification.

edit: Okay this isn't completely the case, there are some interesting things that take place during crystal growth in zero gravity, but they're generally only generally academically interesting.

Other alloying techniques have nothing to do with gravity as they take place in bulk material (where gravity is irrelevant) and is driven, once again, by kinetics.
Last edited by totalnewbie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:49 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
RAPTORATTACK!!!
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Aroundabouts boston.

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby RAPTORATTACK!!! » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:09 am UTC

Even better than an alloy, distribute a gas in it. Say, helium. Result- metal aerogel(ish)!

what does boiling look like in space?
Image
Team 246 OVERCLOCKED!

HexaDecibel
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:06 pm UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby HexaDecibel » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:53 am UTC

RAPTORATTACK!!! wrote:Even better than an alloy, distribute a gas in it. Say, helium. Result- metal aerogel(ish)!

what does boiling look like in space?



For that mater, what does fire look like in space?...

User avatar
Dream
WINNING
Posts: 4338
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Dream » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:30 am UTC

HexaDecibel wrote:
RAPTORATTACK!!! wrote:Even better than an alloy, distribute a gas in it. Say, helium. Result- metal aerogel(ish)!

what does boiling look like in space?



For that mater, what does fire look like in space?...

A glowing globe, until the smoke put the oxidation out.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

0SpinBoson
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:28 pm UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby 0SpinBoson » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:55 am UTC


User avatar
Goemon
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:57 am UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Goemon » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:09 am UTC

Is it possible for metals to form snowflake like crystals?

Coffee Sex Pancake
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:45 pm UTC
Location: Austin, TX

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Coffee Sex Pancake » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:02 pm UTC

Goemon wrote:Is it possible for metals to form snowflake like crystals?


Yes, but that can happen on Earth, you don't need microgravity
"It’s just part of the miraculous nature of life that whatever the problem is, sex can be the solution… even when the problem is also sex." - Amaranth, Tales of MU

jameswilliamogle
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:36 pm UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby jameswilliamogle » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:16 pm UTC

If you started with really pure materials and weren't exposing the metals to oxygen, I'm not sure you'd get that much slag, anyways. It seems to me that it would be easier to not have oxygen around in space.

It might be interesting to get new phases for metals, which a lot of materials chemists are trying to do now using microprecipitation instead of heating to a few thousand degrees (ie, if you go to high energy, when you cool you are forced down certain paths that are minimums from the higher temperature; if you only go to a lower temperature, you can access new paths that aren't possible in other routes). I'm not exactly sure how microgravity could help this, though...

Crystalmorphs can be very significant in the pharmaceutical world, for solubility issues and such. They haven't had the impetus or practicality to try to do chemistry in space yet, though, but pharmakinetics is a really important science to them. That seems to me the best reason to do application-based chemistry in space (and its still not a great reason).

telluride
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:14 am UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby telluride » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:32 pm UTC

Microgravity experiments have a history of use in metallurgy, actually. Particularly in the study of solidification. The point, mostly, is that in microgravity there is no complication of flow in the melt by convective flow, so it is much easier to analyze solidification behavior. Flow will only be driven by temperature differentials, concentration gradients that develop ahead of the solid/melt interface, &c. This in turn makes the real-world data much easier to compare with analytical models of solidfication, more reproducible, just all around cleaner. A lot of this work has come out of the Univ. of Alamba (http://www.cmmr.uah.edu/).

jameswilliamogle is also correct that slag wouldn't be an issue, at least not in any experiments. If you are bothering to send a furnace and raw materials up into orbit, these raw materials are probably going to be pure to at least a few nines, and hence no slag. As far as industrial/technical applications specifically enabled by melting/solidifying/heat treating in space, I'm not aware of any, but then I'm pretty far from up to date on the literature about this.

Random832
Posts: 2525
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:38 pm UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Random832 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:43 pm UTC

totalnewbie wrote:Other alloying techniques have nothing to do with gravity as they take place in bulk material (where gravity is irrelevant) and is driven, once again, by kinetics.


In zero-gravity, though, the material would not have any pressure on it other than atmospheric pressure (i.e. it wouldn't be supporting its own weight); could this affect anything?

telluride
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:14 am UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby telluride » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:12 am UTC

totalnewbie wrote:I can't imagine that it would, as most liquids are generally assumed to be homogeneous (though this isn't technically the case, it's not due to gravity) and it's the kinetics at the solid-liquid interface that causes the properties you see in solidification.

edit: Okay this isn't completely the case, there are some interesting things that take place during crystal growth in zero gravity, but they're generally only generally academically interesting.

Other alloying techniques have nothing to do with gravity as they take place in bulk material (where gravity is irrelevant) and is driven, once again, by kinetics.


Well, the microgravity studies I mentioned were driven by extremely practical considerations: analytical models of solidification are used extensively by industry to do prototyping for casting molds and the like. They often use these models to try and predict where voids/air pockets are most likely to form during the casting process. Any studies that can improve existing analytical models thus translate to real savings in terms of reducing defects. Microporosity - the sub-micron voids that are most difficult to predict and get rid of - are thought to maybe be a consequence of dendrite formation (dendrites being the tree-like structures that crystals can form, e.g. snowflakes), the supposed mechanisms of which is escaping me at the moment (something about the concentration gradient between dendrite arms? anyone else know?). Dendrite formation is challenging to observe, since convection typically shears them or jostles them about too much for clarity. So, the current best models of dendrite growth from the melt have been largely informed/validated by the directional solidification experiments done in microgravity. These experiments, owing to their cleanness, have also been used to help develop working models for "frost heave" of soil buckling under roadways, and at least one other thing which is also escaping memory at the moment...

OK. Actually I suppose that is all pretty academic. Compared to my concentration, I remember thinking it was all very practical while learning about it. I also suppose I just think it's all pretty neat. You're right that there is nothing really directly technically applicable though. Especially when you start to factor in cost! I suppose you could avoid the macroscale inhomogeneities that can develop from bulk convective flow (early forming solids drifting to the bottom of the cast, etc.), but I think they have practical, casting-based technologies to work around that already...

Dekar2401
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:58 am UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Dekar2401 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:01 am UTC

What about using EM to shift metals around inside alloy mixtures to create specific lattices and then flash cooling them to get them to stay in that configuration?

User avatar
Vieto
Posts: 1558
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:44 pm UTC
Location: Canada

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Vieto » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

Dekar2401 wrote:What about using EM to shift metals around inside alloy mixtures to create specific lattices and then flash cooling them to get them to stay in that configuration?


I thought melted Iron was not magnetic.

User avatar
Josephine
Posts: 2142
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:53 am UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Josephine » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

Vieto wrote:
Dekar2401 wrote:What about using EM to shift metals around inside alloy mixtures to create specific lattices and then flash cooling them to get them to stay in that configuration?


I thought melted Iron was not magnetic.

It wouldn't work for that purpose, but that gives me an idea: ferrofluids in microgravity.
Belial wrote:Listen, what I'm saying is that he committed a felony with a zoo animal.

Dekar2401
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:58 am UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Dekar2401 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

Well, the whole point of going into space is to do even more creative, outside the L7, experiments, not some fear-induced apocalyptic end of the world we got to spread to more rocks scenario.

samk
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:33 pm UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby samk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:25 pm UTC

What about electrolysis from a solution containing multiple metals, changing the voltage so thin layers of different metals alternate?

User avatar
Antimony-120
Posts: 830
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:16 am UTC
Location: Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat.

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Antimony-120 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:02 pm UTC

Dekar2401 wrote:Well, the whole point of going into space is to do even more creative, outside the L7, experiments, not some fear-induced apocalyptic end of the world we got to spread to more rocks scenario.


I know this is nitpicky, but where the crap is the L7? Or L6 for that matter. I was only aware of L1 to L5. Unless it's a reference to something else.
Wolydarg wrote:That was like a roller coaster of mathematical reasoning. Problems! Solutions! More problems!


****************Signature Dehosted, New Signature Under Construction************************

Dekar2401
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:58 am UTC

Re: metallurgy in zero gravity

Postby Dekar2401 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:28 pm UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:
Dekar2401 wrote:Well, the whole point of going into space is to do even more creative, outside the L7, experiments, not some fear-induced apocalyptic end of the world we got to spread to more rocks scenario.


I know this is nitpicky, but where the crap is the L7? Or L6 for that matter. I was only aware of L1 to L5. Unless it's a reference to something else.


My bad, the L7 is something my dad told to think outside of one day, to which I responded with a look of puzzlement. He made two Ls with his thumbs and index fingers and put index fingers to thumbs. I was like "Oh." Again, I apologize for using a colloquialism in a scientific forums where that might actually be an applicative term.


Return to “Science”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests