A low temperature furnace for solution crystal growth on the International Space Station

Bac¸, Nurcan; Harpster, Joseph; Maston, Robert A.; Sacco, Albert
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p499
Academic Journal
The Zeolite Crystal Growth Furnace Unit (ZCG-FU) is the first module in an integrated payload designed for low temperature crystal growth in solutions on the International Space Station (ISS). This payload is scheduled to fly on the ISS flight 7A.1 in an EXPRESS rack. Its name originated from early shuttle flight experiments limited to the growth of zeolite crystals but has since grown to include other materials of significant commercial interest using the solution method of crystal growth. Zeolites, ferroelectrics, piezeoelectrics and silver halides are some of the materials considered. The ZCG-FU experiment consists of a furnace unit and its electronic control system, and mechanically complex, crystal growth autoclaves suitable for use with a particular furnace and solution. The ZCG facility is being designed to grow into four independent furnaces controlled by IZECS (Improved Zeolite Electronic Control System). IZECS provides monitoring of critical parameters, data logging, safety monitoring, air-to-ground control and operator interfacing. It is suitable for controlling the four furnaces either individually or all at one time. It also contains the power management solid-state drivers and switches for the ZCG-FU furnace. The furnace contains 19 tubes operating at three different temperature zones. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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