Effects of gravity on the capillary flow of a molten metal

Yangyang Wu, Konstantinos Lazaridis, Mikhail D. Krivilyov, Sinisa Dj Mesarovic, Dusan P. Sekulic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Repair and construction in space by means of brazing requires understanding of the effect of gravity on the capillary flow of a molten metal. We perform two sets of experiments: (1) spreading of a sessile drop of liquid aluminum-silicon-flux (Al-Si-KxAlyFz) composite braze on a horizontal alumina (Al2O3) substrate (a non-wetting surface), and (2) capillary flow of the same braze alloy on an inclined aluminum-manganese (AA3003) substrate (a wetting surface). We vary the mass of the brazing liquid and the inclination of the substrate (i.e., the relative direction of gravity). In the composite metal/flux sessile drop experiments, we observe a secondary liquid flux meniscus forming at the contact line between the liquid Al-Si and the alumina substrate. We demonstrate that the equilibrium contact angle appears to be close to 180°, while the apparent contact angle depends on the mass of the braze. In the second set of experiments, we study the molten braze alloy on different inclinations of AA3003 in a wedge-T wetting/non-wetting assembly. As the inclination angle decreases, the wetting distance increases and the surface profile changes from a non-symmetric bag-like shape to a more symmetric pancake shape. With the mass decreasing, the surface profile on the vertical substrate approaches a symmetric shape when the wetting distance is equal or smaller than the capillary length. While the non-homogeneous melting and hence, the non-homogeneous microstructure of the melt, may prevent a full symmetry. Computational predictions of equilibrium shapes are in good agreement with experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130400
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Volume656
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 5 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA’s Physical Sciences Research Program (Grant# NNX17AB52G ) and Roscosmos Research ISS Program (Joint Space Experiment REAL). The authors acknowledge the guidance and valuable discussions offered by Ian M. Hanson (NASA MSFC) and Richard N. Grugel (NASA MSFC) during the course of the project work. Y. Wu acknowledges Cheng-Nien Yu for the fruitful discussions and Hai Fu for the preliminary work during their tenure as Ph.D. students at the University of Kentucky. TRILLIUM® material is provided by Gränges AB ( Finspång, Sweden). TRILLIUM® technology is protected by US Patent No. 8871356.

Funding Information:
This work is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA's Physical Sciences Research Program (Grant# NNX17AB52G) and Roscosmos Research ISS Program (Joint Space Experiment REAL). The authors acknowledge the guidance and valuable discussions offered by Ian M. Hanson (NASA MSFC) and Richard N. Grugel (NASA MSFC) during the course of the project work. Y. Wu acknowledges Cheng-Nien Yu for the fruitful discussions and Hai Fu for the preliminary work during their tenure as Ph.D. students at the University of Kentucky. TRILLIUM® material is provided by Gränges AB (Finspång, Sweden). TRILLIUM® technology is protected by US Patent No. 8871356.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Brazing
  • Contact angle
  • Energy minimization
  • Non-wetting
  • Wetting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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