We build an experimental setup to investigate explosive interaction of magma and water. State of the art experiments imply that the dynamics of this process — Molten Fuel Coolant Interaction (MFCI) — strongly depend on processes that occur on length scales of tens of centimeters. To investigate such length scales access to about 25–30 liters of melt at relevant temperatures is necessary. The National Science Foundation and UB enabled us to build a facility which is capable of melting such volumes of natural volcanic rock, and conduct a first series of experiments.
The project is therefore broken up into a part that sets up equipment for more general use, i. e. useful for all experiments that need 25 liters of molten volcanic rock, and a part that is specific to the explosive melt-water interaction:
1 – rock melting facility
Construction of a facility that is able to melt 25–30 liters of natural volcanic rock in a sensible time to relevant temperatures; optimization of melting procedure, and handling of the melt (pour from furnace, heat containment, transport to experiment location).
2 – the remaining experimental part
Design and construction of water injection and trigger systems; setup of monitoring equipment; conduct experiments and analyze results.
construction is finished
fine adjustments of melting procedures and handling are on the way