Reliable Quench Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity
With the completion of the International Space Station, access to microgravity for materials science experiments will increase significantly. Versatile sample containment fabrication techniques are needed to meet the science requirements of NASA's principle investigators. New quenching requirements have caused current ceramic crucibles to crack. Traditional ampoule/cartridge assemblies lack the ability to provide sufficient quench rates due to gaps between the cartridge and the ampoule. An innovative quench crucible comprised of an internal ceramic liner in direct contact with a reinforcing metal overlay is the needed solution. With proper selection, the ceramic liner will provide the chemical compatibility for processing the PI's sample, and the reinforcement metal overlay in direct contact with the liner will enable rapid quench rates and prevent cracking. During Phase I, two novel fabrication methods will be investigated which will allow the fabrication of reliable quench crucibles. The first technique will use preformed ceramic ampoules reinforced with a deposited metal overlay. The second technique will involve the spray forming of both a ceramic liner and metal reinforcement on a removable mandrel. With the development of these two crucible fabrication methods, essentially any principle investigators' sample containment requirements can be satisfied.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 D Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811
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