A relatively new 'laboratory' for the processing of advanced materials is the microgravity environment of space. The constraints of time, mass and energy availability aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle dictate careful design of flight equipment. A finite element thermal model and a laboratory experimental prototype were developed for a three-temperature-zone furnace, to be used to grow zeolite crystals aboard the first United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML-1) mission. The model was validated by comparison to data from the laboratory prototype. The model correctly reproduced the heat-up characteristics of the furnace, with a small overshoot in the hottest region. Steady-state temperatures were also well-predicted, especially the processing temperatures of the autoclaves. Surface temperatures were somewhat overpredicted on the bottom of the furnace.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Materials Processing and Manufacturing Science|
|State||Published - Apr 1994|