German Space Proceedings: MAPHEUS-4: X-rays in microgravity
another example of Germany's efforts to promote industrial technology via energy & material efficiency...
**higher efficiency manufacturing, especially of turbine blades
**superior packing of granular materials for greater material and energy efficiency
DLR launches sounding rocket with materials physics experiments
Close to four minutes of microgravity prevailed in the sounding rocket MAPHEUS-4, which was launched on 15 July 2013 at 07:53 local time, from the Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden... For the first time, the diffusion of aluminium and nickel was recorded under space conditions using X-ray analysis. The scientists at the DLR Institute of Materials Physics in Space examined the behaviour of granular gases in microgravity...
Before the launch, a small furnace containing the six samples containing various proportions of aluminium and nickel was preheated to 900 degrees Celsius. The furnace had already had its premiere in November 2012, when the scientists tested it on board the sounding rocket MAPHEUS-3... The data acquired during microgravity is compared with model calculations and data from the terrestrial laboratory. The results can then contribute, among other things, to optimising industrial casting processes such as those used to produce turbine blades.
To better understand the behaviour of granular gases, researchers from the Institute subjected small metal balls to microgravity conditions. During the flight, four magnets placed the balls in motion and two high-speed cameras, which acquired up to 500 high-resolution images per second, recorded the particles as they pushed against each other and determined the velocity distribution. With the results, the researchers can analyse how granular gases – for example bulk goods like pills – can be packed more densely and in a more stable way