RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural and Mixed Convection

A Thermocapillary Convection Experiment in Microgravity

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Kamotani, S. Ostrach

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106

A. Pline

NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

J. Heat Transfer 117(3), 611-618 (Aug 01, 1995) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2822621 History: Received October 01, 1993; Revised October 01, 1994; Online December 05, 2007


Results are reported of the Surface Tension Driven Convection Experiment (STDCE) aboard the USML-1 Spacelab, which was launched on June 25, 1992. In the experiment, 10 cSt silicone oil was placed in an open 10-cm-dia circular container, which was 5 cm deep. The fluid was heated either by a cylinderical heater (1.11 cm diameter) located along the container centerline or by a CO2 laser beam to induce thermocapillary flow. Several thermistor probes were placed in the fluid to measure the temperature distribution. The temperature distribution along the liquid-free surface was measured by an infrared imager. Tests were conducted over a range of heating powers, laser-beam diameters, and free surface shapes. An extensive numerical modeling of the flow was conducted in conjunction with the experiments. Some results of the temperature measurements with flat free surfaces are presented in this paper and they are shown to agree well with the numerical predictions.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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