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Zero-Gravity Solidification of NACL-LIF Eutectic

NSSDCA ID: 1975-066A-10

Mission Name: ASTP-Apollo
Principal Investigator:Dr. Alfred S. Yue


The halide eutectic growth experiment was flown to study the solidification process in the space environment where there are no vibration and convection currents in the melt. Fiber-like sodium chloride-lithium flouride eutectic mixtures were produced in space by the directional solidification technique. When a eutectic liquid of sodium chloride and lithium flouride solidified, lithium flouride formed the fiber phase in the sodium chloride matrix. When produced on earth, fiber-like eutectics suffer impefections by the presense of a banded structure, and by discontinuity faults, due in part to vibration and convection currents in the melt during solidification. These defects cause solid-state eutectic devices to be inefficient and useless. The sodium chloride and 28.8 weight percent lithium fluoride eutectic mixtures, were made from 99.96 weight percent sodium chloride and 99.99 weight percent lithium flouride. The mixtures were solidified in an induction heating unit under a protective atmosphere. Ingots of sodium chloride-lithium flouride eutectics 0.79 cm in diameter and 6.4-cm long were grown. Additional details can be found in "Halide Eutectic Growth - Experiment MA-131," A. S. Yue, et al, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, Preliminary Science Report, TM-X-58173, 28.1-28.8, 1976.

Alternate Names

  • ASTP-Apollo/Zero-GravitySolidificationofNACL-LIFEutectic
  • Halide Eutectics (MA-131)

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Manned Space Flight (United States)


    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Dr. C. W. YehOther InvestigatorUniversity of California, Los Angeles
    Dr. Alfred S. YuePrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of California, Los Angeles
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