On its surface was a watch … water droplets merged. As it turns out, this seemingly uninteresting job can have an impact on how we function in everyday life. We are talking about applications in energy, transportation or aerospace engineering.
Researchers write about the conclusions drawn in the pages fluid physics. As you probably know, the typical water droplet is spherical and small. However, as they begin to blend in, gravity affects their appearance. As a result, the study of droplets conducted on Earth must be performed on a very small scale.
The International Space Station has been used to observe the behavior of water droplets
The problem is that under these conditions the dynamics become too fast to be rigorously analyzed. On board the International Space Station, in the conditions of the so-called. Microgravity, but even very large droplets can be tested. Some have diameters measured in millimeters, while others can reach sizes expressed in centimeters.
As part of the experiments, scientists sent four different materials to the International Space Station that created surfaces with different roughnesses. Then the real phase of the experiment began: observing the behavior of the droplets and their communication with each other in individual cases.
The ultimate goal of the research was to find out how the Davis-Hocking model, used to simulate droplet behavior, works. When one of these objects is placed on a specific surface, part of it touches the air, forming an interface. In turn, the person in contact with the same surface forms an edge. The Davis-Hocking model describes this edge equation. Thanks to the collected data, scientists were able to confirm the validity of the described model.
This shows how many applications the International Space Station has. To outside observers, its operation may seem mainly the result of the whims of “clever minds,” but not everyone is aware of the International Space Station’s role in testing new materials or technologies. All the sad news about the coming end of the station, which has held out longer than most experts expected.
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