Fluid Physics | Science Mission Directorate


Adiabatic Two-phase Flow | Boiling and Condensation | Capillary Flow and Interfacial Phenomena | Cryogenic Storage and Handling

[Split screen showing boiling water as it appears on Earth and in microgravity.]

A fluid is any material that flows in response to an applied force, therefore liquids and gases are fluids. Their motion accounts for most transport and mixing in natural and man-made processes and within all living organisms. Fluid physics is the study of liquid and gas motion and the associated transport of mass, momentum and energy. The need to better understand fluid behavior has created a multidisciplinary research community whose ongoing vitality is marked by the continuous emergence of new fields in basic and applied science. The International Space Station’s low-gravity environment offers a unique place to study fluid physics and transport phenomena. Nearly weightless conditions allow researchers to observe and control fluid phenomena in ways not possible on Earth. Research areas include adiabatic two phase flows, flow boiling and condensation, capillary flows and interfacial phenomena, and flows related to cryogenic systems.

Learn more about fluid physics research at Glenn Research Center

publications

Check out the recent publications from participating NASA scientists, Principal Investigators, and contributors from universities and labs around the world:

Barrett JA, Ajaev VS. “Heat transfer and corner flow in the constrained vapor bubble system.” Interfacial Phenomena and Heat Transfer. 2020;8(4):291-302. https://doi.org/10.1615/lnterfacPhenomHeatTransfer.2020035445, Dec-2020

Barrett JA. “Modeling fluid phenomena in the context of constrained vapor bubble system.” Dissertation, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, December 2020.

Bellur K, Allen JS. “Multiscale modeling of liquid-vapor phase change based on experimental data.” Poster presentation. 35th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, Denver, CO, November 20-23, 2019.

Bellur K, Allen JS. “Thermo-Mechanical Phase Change Stability of Liquid-Vapor Meniscus.” Oral presentation. ASME 2019 Summer Heat Transfer Conference, AIChE Symposium in Honor of Prof. Peter C. Wayner, Jr. II, Bellevue, WA, July 14 – 17, 2019.

Modeling evaporation: Rethinking equilibrium constructs . Bellur K, Medici EF, Hermanson J, Choi CK, Allen JS. npj Microgravity (in preparation, as of January 2022).

Mccraney J, Weislogel M, Steen P. “OpenFOAM simulations of late stage container draining in microgravity.” MDPI Fluids. 2020Dec;5(4):207. https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids5040207, Dec-2020

McCraney J, Steen P. “Capillary draining in zero-g: the double drain problem.” Conference paper peer-reviewed and published at the 15th OpenFOAM Workshop, Virtual, June 22-26, 2020.

McCraney JT, Weislogel MM. “The Double-Drained Drop: Symmetric Draining of Liquids from Containers with Interior Corners.” NASA technical memorandum TM, July 2021. (submitted), Jul-2021

Mohler S, Weislogel M. “A Thin Film Liquid Sorbent Reactor for CO2 Scrubbing Aboard Spacecraft: Post Flight Analysis of Recent Technology Demonstrations Aboard ISS.” 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems – ICES 2020, Lisbon, Portugal, July 12-

Mohler S, Weislogel M, Graf J, Soto L. “The Dynamics of Massively Parallel Open Capillary Channel Systems for Direct-Contact Liquid Sorbent Applications in Spacecraft Life Support.” 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems, Boston, MA, July 7-11, 2019.

Turner C, Goodman J, Mohler S, Mungin R, Weislogel M, Ungar EK, Buchli JC. “Mitigation of Micro-Droplet Ejections During Open Cabin Unit Operations Aboard ISS.” 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems, Boston, MA, July 7-11, 2019.

Taghavi, Mahsa, Brian J. Motil, Henry Nahra, and Vemuri Balakotaiah. “Gas–liquid flows through porous media in microgravity: Packed Bed Reactor Experiment‐2.” AIChE Journal (2022): e17727.

Sequeira, Yohan, Abhradeep Maitra, Anupam Pandey, and Sunghwan Jung. “Revisiting the NASA surface tension driven convection experiments.” npj Microgravity 8, no. 1 (2022): 1-10.

Barrett, James A., and Vladimir S. Ajaev. “The effect of electrical double layers on evaporation of sessile droplets.” Journal of Engineering Mathematics 134, no. 1 (2022): 1-13.

Guo, Alex, William C. Marshall, Corey C. Woodcock, and Joel L. Plawsky. “Transport in mazes; simple geometric representations to guide the design of engineered systems.” Chemical Engineering Science 250 (2022): 117416.

McCraney JT, Weislogel MM, Steen P. “The draining of capillary liquids from containers with interior corners aboard the ISS.” npjMicrogravity (accepted, as of August 2021). , Aug-2021

Yu, Jiaheng, Anisha Pawar, Joel L. Plawsky, and David F. Chao. “The effect of bubble nucleation on the performance of a wickless heat pipe in microgravity.” npj Microgravity 8, no. 1 (2022): 1-10.

Kim, Yong Il, Boo-Hyoung Bang, Keunhee Jang, Seongpil An, Alexander L. Yarin, and Sam S. Yoon. “Pool boiling enhancement via nanotexturing and self-propelled swing motion for bubble shedding.” International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer 133 (2022): 105934.

Kim, Yong Il, Boo-Hyoung Bang, Keunhee Jang, Seongpil An, Alexander L. Yarin, and Sam S. Yoon. “Effect of heater wire configuration and nanotexturing on force generated by self-propelled bubble-driven propeller.” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 184 (2022): 122274.

Kim, Yong Il, Boo-Hyoung Bang, Keunhee Jang, Seongpil An, Alexander L. Yarin, and Sam S. Yoon. “Pool boiling enhancement via nanotexturing and self-propelled swing motion for bubble shedding.” International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer 133 (2022): 105934.

Lee, Jeongmin, Issam Mudawar, Mohammad M. Hasan, Henry K. Nahra, and Jeffrey R. Mackey. “Experimental and computational investigation of flow boiling in microgravity.” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 183 (2022): 122237.

Devahdhanush, VS, Steven J. Darges, Issam Mudawar, Henry K. Nahra, R. Balasubramaniam, Mohammad M. Hasan, and Jeffrey R. Mackey. “Flow visualization, heat transfer, and critical heat flux of flow boiling in Earth gravity with saturated liquid‐vapor mixture inlet conditions–In preparation for experiments onboard the International Space Station.” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 192 (2022): 122890.

Devahdhanush, VS, Issam Mudawar, Henry K. Nahra, R. Balasubramaniam, Mohammad M. Hasan, and Jeffrey R. Mackey. “Experimental heat transfer results and flow visualization of vertical upflow boiling in Earth gravity with subcooled inlet conditions–In preparation for experiments onboard the International Space Station.” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 188 (2022): 122603.

Ludwicki, Jonathan M., Vanessa R. Kern, Joshua McCraney, Joshua B. Bostwick, Susan Daniel, and Paul H. Steen. “Is contact-line mobility a material parameter?.” npj Microgravity 8, no. 1 (2022): 1-8.

Leave a Comment