Presentation on theme: "Griffin Eslinger and Alexander Puckhaber Co-Principal Investigators"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Effect of Microgravity on the Oxidation of Iron Exposed to a Saltwater Solution Griffin Eslinger and Alexander PuckhaberCo-Principal InvestigatorsPalmetto Scholars AcademyNorth Charleston, SC
2 Description of Experiment Our experiment compared the structural integrity of an iron bar oxidized in the presence of saltwater in microgravity to an iron bar oxidized in the presence of saltwater on Earth.
3 Hypothesis We predicted that the iron bar oxidized in microgravity would be weaker than the iron bar oxidized on Earth. Without gravity, the surface tension of the salt water will be relativelystronger. Stronger surfacetension in microgravity mightmake the oxidation processhappen at a faster pace.
4 Why this is Important If we find that the iron bar oxidized in microgravity is significantly weaker than the iron bar oxidized on Earth, our findings could impact how engineers design space missions.Many pressurized spacecraft are built with iron alloys. There would most likely be oxygen and water on the inside. If rust in microgravity causes iron to become weaker than expected, there might be a high potential for catastrophic failures.
5 Materials Experiment Materials Type Two FME (Fluid Mixture Enclosure) 3.5% salt water solutionIron tensile testing bar (9.5mm by 75mm by 2mm)Testing MaterialsTensile testing machineScanning electron microscope
6 Methods 5 identical FMEs prepared and numbered (+2 old FMEs) One (Sample #2) randomly selected to go to ISSSent up for 9 weeks in space as part of SSEP Mission 4Upon return, tested at University of South Carolina Mechanical Engineering Department on a Tensile Testing Machine.After tensile testing, surface examined under scanning electron microscope at NOAA lab.
7 Tensile Testing Five properties measured Modulus of Elasticity (Young’s Modulus)Yielding StrengthMaximum StrengthElongationDuctility
9 Scanning Electron Microscope Space sample had small circular rust spots. Controls had larger plate-like rust patches.SpaceEarth Control
10 Scanning Electron Microscope The controls had a rougher surface (more rusting) and a thicker breaking cross sectionSpaceEarth Control
11 Summary The Iron bar that went to space: Yielding Strength: AverageElongation: AverageMaximum Strength: 2nd highestModulus of Elasticity: AverageDuctility: HighestBut none statistically significantSEM showed less rust and in a different pattern.Hypothesis: false, bar not weaker
12 AcknowledgmentsThank you to the Partners and Sponsors who made this experiment possible:PartnersSpace and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)National Center for Earth and Space Science EducationCollege of CharlestonMedical University of South Carolina (MUSC)National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)SponsorsISHPIGoogleCASISPalmetto Scholars Academy Board MembersPalmetto Scholars Academy Families