The thermocapillary effects in phase change materials in microgravity experiment: Design, preparation and execution of a parabolic flight experiment

Ezquerro Navarro, Jose Miguel and Bello Garcia, Alvaro and Salgado Sanchez, Pablo and Laveron Simavilla, Ana and Lapuerta Gonzalez, Maria Victoria (2019). The thermocapillary effects in phase change materials in microgravity experiment: Design, preparation and execution of a parabolic flight experiment. "Acta Astronautica", v. 162 ; pp. 185-196. ISSN 0094-5765. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.06.004.

Description

Title: The thermocapillary effects in phase change materials in microgravity experiment: Design, preparation and execution of a parabolic flight experiment
Author/s:
  • Ezquerro Navarro, Jose Miguel
  • Bello Garcia, Alvaro
  • Salgado Sanchez, Pablo
  • Laveron Simavilla, Ana
  • Lapuerta Gonzalez, Maria Victoria
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Acta Astronautica
Date: September 2019
ISSN: 0094-5765
Volume: 162
Subjects:
Freetext Keywords: Parabolic flights; Microgravity; Phase change materials; Marangoni effect
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingeniería Aeronáutica y del Espacio (UPM)
Department: Aeronaves y Vehículos Espaciales
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

The Thermocapillary Effects in Phase Change Materials in Microgravity (TEPiM) experiment aims to analyse the potential of Marangoni convection for heat transfer enhancement in Phase Change Materials (PCMs) in weightlessness, where the slow characteristic time of the phase change process constrains their use as thermal control devices. On ground, natural convection masks the influence of Marangoni flow, which means that quantifying each contribution to the heat transfer rate of the system precisely is not possible. In this sense, the microgravity environment provided by parabolic flights gives an excellent opportunity to execute an experiment on PCMs phase change coupled with thermocapillary convection, and retrieve useful data to validate theoretical and numerical models. We note that such microgravity research has never been performed prior to this project. In this paper, we describe the design, preparation and performance of the TEPiM microgravity experiment, executed during the 65th ESA Parabolic Flight campaign. The experiment cells, filled with solid n-octadecane and a layer of air, were heated to observe the melting process under the microgravity portions provided during the flight. The promising results obtained support the positive impact of thermocapillary effects in PCMs melting, and suggest themselves for further investigation. We also expect that the valuable lessons learned presented here will help the scientific community in developing future microgravity experiments of this nature.

More information

Item ID: 67021
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/67021/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:67021
DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.06.004
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576519307362?via%3Dihub
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 11 Jan 2022 12:37
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2022 12:37
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