New in-orbit self-assembly principles and manufacturing techniques

Lappa, Marcello; Lappa, Marcello and Hamerton, Ian and Roberts, Peter C.E. and Kao, Andrew and Domingos, Marco and Soorghali, Hamid and Carvil, Philip, eds. (2024) New in-orbit self-assembly principles and manufacturing techniques. In: Why Space? Satellite Applications Catapult, Didcot, pp. 62-65. ISBN 9781914241680 (

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Many materials (e.g. different types of inorganic and organic alloys) in the liquid state consist of fine particles or droplets dispersed in an external (fluid) matrix. Once the effects of gravity are no longer felt, the different densities of the involved phases no longer represent a constraint forcing the dispersed particles or droplets to separate from the fluid through sedimentation or flotation; exploring self-assembly principles becomes therefore possible. Self-induced particle ordering is indeed emerging as one of the most relevant or promising approaches to develop in-space heterogeneous systems or materials consisting of parts that can recognize and bind to each other or form specific templates or patterns.