Space Station Condensing Heat Exchanger Biofilm Formation and Control Evaluation 921383
The Space Station Temperature and Humidity Control Condensing Heat Exchangers will be utilized to remove and collect atmospheric water vapor generated by the metabolic and hygienic activity of crew members. The porous hydrophilic coating within the heat exchangers will be continually moist and in contact with a steady flow of cabin air which makes them susceptible to microbial growth.
This paper summarizes the findings from an ongoing study to evaluate biofilm formation characteristics and microbial control techniques for the Space Station Condensing Heat Exchangers (CHX). This ongoing study examines whether the CHX's are susceptible to performance degrading microbial colonization with microbial challenge testing under simulated system environmental conditions. Furthermore, the three candidate microbial control approaches of periodic heating, periodic drying and incorporation of an antimicrobial agent, into the hydrophilic coating are evaluated.