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A space station investigation is studying colloids



From strawberry jelly and earthquakes: The space station investigations are studying colloids

The NASA astronaut, Ricky Arnold, is maintaining the Advanced Colloids Experiment Module that has been located inside the Microphone Module Light. Credit: NASA

If you think your strawberry jelly is not linked to earthquakes, think again.


A new investigation into International Space Station, Experimental-Temperature-10 (ACE-T-10), uses temperature changes to better understand how colloids are – or 'chaotic solids'; – even or not. Understanding this stress can relax in chaotic solids giving suggestions about seismic events on the ground. This experiment could also benefit the exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond in the future by providing insight into material failure.

Colloids are materials where nanoparticles or small droplets of one material are dispersed in a liquid. These soft materials are common in everyday life; examples are whipping cream, jelly, fabric softener, milk and muddy water.

ACE-T-10 study colloids where the attraction between nanoparticles strengthens with higher temperatures. While at room temperature, the colloid behaves like a liquid. When the suspension is heated to more than 40 ° C, the particles will stick together quickly, forming a rigid network that can maintain its own weight – a process known as gelation.

From strawberry jelly and earthquakes: The space station investigations are studying colloids

The Light Microscopy Module (LMM) enables new research into microscopic phenomena in microgravity, with the ability to acquire and download digital images and videos remotely across several levels of 3D zoom using confocal microscopy. Credit: NASA

This is similar to what happens in glass moderation. However, a rapid collapse creates stress in the material that is gradually relaxing by cascading restructuring events similar to micro-cocks. Ultimately, the distortions motivate more restructuring events that include the whole gel. This dramatic conflict in the gel structure can be predicted, at least statistically, because they are published by a jittery platform; visible. Confocal ACE-T-10 microscopy images enabled by the space station can allow scientists to highlight the rift of these microscopic gel strings that are predicted to lie under these curious travelers.

"Temperature plays a dual role in this," said Roberto Piazza's Primary Researcher. "The factor that changes the interaction between the particles, making them stick together; at the same time, the force that promotes the spontaneous restructuring of the gel. On Earth, however, there is Gravity is an extra strain on the material that experiments in micrographed may be mandatory to quantify whether or not gravity (gel weight) plays a relevant role. "

The space station laboratory also provides other benefits. "The Space Station's Microscopy Light Module (LMM) at the Rack Integrated Rack enables scientists to control the temperature of the system and provides a 3-D structure of the material," said Stefano Buzzaccaro, co-investigator for ACE- T-10. "In cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), we are developing a light dispersion set which, in conjunction with the confocal LMM, gives us everything we need to try to understand the geology problem."

Like colossees, the Earth's crust also releases stress through earthquakes. ACE-T-10 could give a snapshot of the events that envisaged these tents, allowing scientists to provide better forecasts of when they might occur.

From strawberry jelly and earthquakes: The space station investigations are studying colloids

Cellular gel bride when temperature is increased. Credit: Stefano Buzzaccaro, Soft Soft Lab in Politecnico di Milano

It can also contribute to predictions relating to product shelf life and the failure of structural materials on roads and bridges.

"This is especially important when you are on Mars and you have to build materials using Martian crust," Buzzaccaro said. "You can find a method to monitor the damage of the material you are using and predict its failure."

Food for mind when you make your colloid sandwich and next peanut butter.


The investigation attempts to create self-assembling materials


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