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Non-linear effects in the oscillating drop method for viscosity measurements
Rainer K. Wunderlich and Markus Mohr

The contribution of non-linear fluid flow effects to the damping of surface oscillations in the oscillation drop method was investigated in a series of experiments in an electromagnetic levitation device installed on the International Space station, ISS-EML. In order to correctly evaluate the damping time constant from measured surface oscillation decays the effect of a modulated signal response on measured surface oscillation decay curves was investigated. It could be shown that various experimentally observed signal patterns could be well represented by a modulated response. The physical origin of such modulations is seen in rotation and precession. Over a temperature range of 220 K covered by different surface oscillation excitation pulses with an initial sample shape deformation of 5 – 10% the amplitude of surface oscillations as a function of time could be very well represented by a Lamb type damping with a temperature dependent viscosity. A direct comparison of surface oscillation decay times measured in the same temperature range but for different oscillation amplitudes showed no non-linear contribution to the damping time constant with a confidence level better 10%.

Keywords: oscillating drop method, viscosity, containerless processing, electromagnetic levitation, non-linear fluid flow effects

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