Thermal design of a novel furnace for the processing of molecular sieve zeolites in space - I. Model validation using laboratory experimental prototype

Nurcan Bac, Albert Sacco, Robert W. Thompson, Anthony G. Dixon, Lisa McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Processing and Manufacturing Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1994


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