Directional Solidification (DIRSOL)
The DIRSOL facility, currently under development under ESA contract, aims to perform DIRectional SOLidification experiments of transparent materials using the Bridgman technique. The facility will be available from the end of 2011.
DIRSOL will be positioned in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) in the US module Destiny onboard the ISS. This instrument aims to complement the capabilities that will provided by CNES in DECLIC.
The facility is a multi-user facility and aims to support the in-situ study of solidification processes and phenomena of transparent alloys. The samples are of flat, rectangular shape with variable heights and are pulled through the Bridgman assembly at variable speeds. The main diagnostics element of DIRSOL is optical observation with high resolution. The observation camera can observe the sample between the hot and cold zones of the Bridgman assembly at variable positions and viewing angles.
The main facility (scientific) specifications can be summarised as following;
- The sample can be moved with translation speed varying between 0.2 μm/min and 6 mm/min.
- The temperatures of the hot and cold zone can be adjusted independently with a max temp of 500K. The cold zone can be adjusted between 263 and 350K. With this the temperature gradient can be adjustable between 5 and 120 K/cm.
- Sample observation within the adiabatic zone can be performed at variable positions under an angle between 90deg and 45deg by means of a digital camera in grey scale.
Last update: 13 May 2009