Containerless processing for thermophysical property measurements of liquid metals: review and outlook
The use of electromagnetic levitation for containerless processing of liquid metals dates back into the thirties of the last century. Its use for thermophysical property measurements started in the sixties. Later on, in the nineties, the possibility to perform such experiments under microgravity boosted this research field. Although a number of microgravity experiments have already been performed, the climax is expected when the ISS can be used for such experiments, starting in 2012.
This paper reviews thermophysical property measurements of liquid metals using electromagnetic levitation with a focus on surface tension and density. An outlook into the planned experiments onboard the ISS is also given.
Keywords: containerless processing, liquid metals, thermophysical properties.