Statler College of Engineering and Mining Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Herein we report 2D printing in microgravity of aqueous-based foams containing metal oxide nanoparticles. Such hierarchical foams have potential space applications, for example for in situ habitat repair work, or for UV shielding. Foam line patterns of a TiO2-containing foam have been printed onto glass substrates via Direct Foam Writing (DFW) under microgravity conditions through a parabolic aircraft flight. Initial characterization of the foam properties (printed foam line width, bubble size, etc.) are presented. It has been found that gravity plays a significant role in the process of direct foam writing. The foam spread less over the substrate when deposited in microgravity as compared to Earth gravity. This had a direct impact on the cross-sectional area and surface roughness of the printed lines. Additionally, the contact angle of deionized water on a film exposed to microgravity was higher than that of a film not exposed to microgravity, due to the increased surface roughness of films exposed to microgravity.
Digital Commons Citation
Cordonier, Guy Jacob; Sharafati, Cicely; Mays, Spencer; Thackery, Lukas; Gemmen, Ellena; Cyphert, Samuel; Brown, Megan; Napolillo, John Quinn; Toney, Savannah; Moore, Hunter; Kuhlman, John M. `; and Sierros, Konstantinos A., "Direct foam writing in microgravity" (2021). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 3069.
Cordonier, G.J., Sharafati, C., Mays, S. et al. Direct foam writing in microgravity. npj Microgravity 7, 55 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41526-021-00185-1