Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement (FMVM) Experiment on the International Space Station
Basil, Antar, et al. (2007). "Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement (FMVM) Experiment on the International Space Station." 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
The concept of using low gravity experimental data together with fluid dynamical numerical simulations for measuring the viscosity of highly viscous liquids was recently validated on the International Space Station (ISS). After testing the proof of concept for this method with parabolic flight experiments, an ISS experiment was proposed and later conducted onboard the ISS in July, 2004 and subsequently in May of 2005. In that experiment a series of two liquid drops were brought manually together until they touched and then were allowed to merge under the action of capillary forces alone. The merging process was recorded visually in order to measure the contact radius speed as the merging proceeded. Several liquids were tested and for each liquid several drop diameters were used. It has been shown that when the coefficient of surface tension for the liquid is known, the contact radius speed can then determine the coefficient of viscosity for that liquid. The viscosity is determined by fitting the experimental speed to theoretically calculated contact radius speed for the same experimental parameters. Experimental and numerical results will be presented in which the viscosity of different highly viscous liquids were determined, to a high degree of accuracy, using this technique.
DOI: doi:10.2514/6.2007-1151 10.2514/6.2007-1151