The E-USOC has finished the execution of its fifteenth experiment on board the ISS. The third one executed with the Transparent Alloys instrument.
The METCOMP (Metastable Solidification of Composites: Novel Peritectic Structures and In-Situ Composites) experiment was a difficult one, but the scientists managed to fulfil all the objectives, and we will soon have a METCOMP-2 to process the samples that could not be uploaded this time.
The METCOMP research focuses on layered structures in peritectic systems. The investigations of peritectic metallic systems show a wide range of possible microstructures: bands, islands, tree-like microstructures and coupled growth appear when the primary and peritectic phase solidify in a competitive manner. On Earth all these microstructures are highly influenced by convection and undercooling due to gravity. Therefore, micro-g experiments are necessary to determine the influence of natural convection on the microstructure evolution.
Specific goals of the experiment:
- Study the influence of gravitational effects on the microstructure evolution by comparing 1g and micro-g experiments to pinpoint the effect of gravity
- Determine microstructure selection maps, correlated to particle size, growth dynamics and fluid flow process parameters