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|FOCUS (Foam Casting and Utilization in Space)
WHAT IS FOAM: Foams have 80 upto 98 % porosity. The gas phase is dispersed and the structure of foam (wall) can be liquid and solid state as well. The structure of foam can be made from plastics, metal, ceramics, aqueous suspensions, organic materials and several others. Examples: bone, ice cream, bread, foam bath, sponge, filters, polyfoam.
THE EXPERIMENT: During the experiment the astronaut fix the box that contains the cartridges. With a simple movement the illumination system is switched on and the foams start to grow. When the amount of foams approach a given level the astronaut stops
the foaming and observes the structure changes.
THE WAY OF EXPERIMENT HARDWARE : The experiments carried out on the board of ISS. The experiments needed late access because of the short shelf-life. The final assembly was in Baikonur in Kazahstan a few hours before the launch and the cargo pouch installed into Progress. The launch was 3rd of February, 2010 (36P). After the 3 days long journey, docking and unpacking the experiments were done in a few days. The experiment container fixed on the wall of
Columbus module with the help of seedseat track. The astronaut needed
3 hours to perform the experiments. During operation a large number of photos were taken and these were the only things that came back on Earth.
THE AIM of the project is to study the foaming process and foam stability in aqueous system under microgravity in order to establish the development of metal foam production technology. The innovation is the foam generator that is the key of our success. The behaviour of this important part and the evolved foam has to be observed for 2 hours in microgravity and this requires the experiments on board of the International Space Station (ISS). The details of this project are confidential.
SURE: (International Space Station: a Unique REsearch infrastructure) project was an opportunity for scientists and SMEs in new EU Member States to do research on the ISS. The selection of proposals was made by ESA and 10 from 32 were granted. The best industrial proposal was written by Admatis Ltd and 3 other winners were Hungarian. SURE project is fully funded by EC under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).