Corkscrew Cups for Space Drinking

150_helixImagine drinking from a “cup” shaped like a corkscrew made up of ribbon. It doesn’t sound easy, but it could make drinking much easier in space. In microgravity conditions, liquid breaks up into globules which tend to float around and cause problems. Brian Lowry and Heather-Jean May of the University of New Brunswick have tested helix containers, which keep liquids in line by surface tension.
These forms should function much better as containers for holding fluids in microgravity, they say surface tension holds liquid inside the coil and the properties of the shape's surface allow fluid to be sucked out in one go.

When liquid is drawn out of these helical containers, the remaining fluid redistributes along the spiralling support. So, you can keep sucking until there is only a very thin ribbon of liquid lining the structure. An astronaut could drain a helix holding a drink in a single draught.

This type of container would be useful for applications besides drinking. Engineers must often transfer liquids in space for mechanical and experimental purposes. Lowry said:
"At the micro and nano scale, gravity becomes relatively insignificant, so this approach could help engineers working with tiny amounts of fluid on earth too."

Link -via BB Spot

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