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Solidification of Undercooled Ni-Sn Eutectic Alloy Under Microgravity Conditions in the Space

  • Shuttle T. J. Piccone (a1), F. H. Harf (a2), Y. Wu (a1), Y. Shiohara (a1), M. C. Flemings (a1) and E. A. Winsa (a2)...

Abstract

The Space Shuttle Columbia carried an Alloy Undercooling Experiment on its STS 61-C mission in January, 1986. The experiment was performed in the electromagnetic levitator (EML) designed and produced by the General Electric Company. A sample of Ni-32.5wt% Sn eutectic was melted and solidified under microgravity conditions in the Space Shuttle. The specimen achieved only a fairly small undercooling, probably less than 30 K.

The specimen was examined by optical and scanning electron microscopy. The surface and cross-sectional microstructures were primarily composed of normal lamellar eutectic, but showed several interesting features, including an apparent surface nucleation site, curved dendrites with non-orthogonal secondary arms, dendrite fragments with extremely fine arm spacing, submicron precipitates, and faceted crystals. The results of the space experiment are presented and compared with ground-based results obtained with the same alloy.

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1. Piccone, T. J., S.M. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1984).
2. Wu, Y., Sc. D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1986).
3. Wu, Y., Piccone, T. J., Shiohara, Y., and Flemings, M. C., ”Dendritic Growth of Undercooled Nickel-Tin: Part I,” accepted for publication in Metallurgical Transactions A (1986).
4. Piccone, T. J., Wu, Y., Shiohara, Y., and Flemings, M. C., ”Dendritic Growth of Undercooled Nickel-Tin: Part II,” accepted for publication in Metallurgical Transactions A (1986).
5. Wu, Y., Piccone, T. J., Shiohara, Y., and Flemings, M. C., ”Dendritic Growth of Undercooled Nickel-Tin: Part III,” submitted for publication (1986).
6. Harf, F. H., Piccone, T. J., Wu, Y., Flemings, M. C., Shiohara, Y., Gardner, L. B., and Winsa, E. A., ”The Alloy Undercooling Experiment on the Columbia STS 61-C Space Shuttle Mission,” AIAA Paper 87–0506, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (1987).
7. Bower, T. F. and Flemings, M. C., Trans. AIME 239, 1620 (1967).

Solidification of Undercooled Ni-Sn Eutectic Alloy Under Microgravity Conditions in the Space

  • Shuttle T. J. Piccone (a1), F. H. Harf (a2), Y. Wu (a1), Y. Shiohara (a1), M. C. Flemings (a1) and E. A. Winsa (a2)...

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