Capillary Flow Experiment (CFE)
Managed By: NASA
Implementation Partner: ZIN Technologies
- Suite of fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries
- Hardware consists of suite 11 manually operated, hand-held test vessels that vary in geometry. The test vessels contain silicone oil that varies in viscosity ranging from 2-20 cSt. The volume of silicone oil contained by each vessel also varies from approximately 21-54cc.
- Each unit consists of an acrylic vessel containing both a fluid reservoir (for fluid storage during launch, stowage), and a test chamber with a unique capillary geometry of interest to the researcher. For test operations, the fluid is pumped in between reservoir and test chamber via a piston, manually rotated by the crew member, and controlled via manually manipulated valves.
- Modification of the test fluid and fluid volume is possible. In addition, it is also possible to design and build new units with a similar configuration, (i.e. test chamber and fluid reservoir) to explore capillary forces in complex containers. The science data is recorded using a high-definition camera.
- Each test unit displays relevant capillary resulting phenomena, critical wetting in discontinuous structures, large length scale contact line damping, and capillary flow in complex containers
- Quantitative video images from the simply-performed flight experiment crew procedures will provide immediate confirmation of the usefulness of current analytical design tools, as well as provide guidance to the development of new ones