A number of compositions of ceramic oxide high T(sub c) superconductors were elevated for their glass formation ability by means of rapid thermal analysis during quenching, optical, and electron microscopy of the quenched samples, and with subsequent DSC measurements. Correlations between experimental measurements and the methodical composition changes identified the formulations of superconductors that can easily form glass. The superconducting material was first formed as a glass; then, with subsequent devitrification, it was formed into a bulk crystalline superconductor by a series of processing methods.
The effects of gravity on the crystallization of ZrF(4)-BaF(2)-LaF(3)-AlF(3)-NaF glasses have been studied using the NASA KC-135 and a sounding rocket. Fibers and cylinders of ZBLAN glass were heated to the crystallization temperature in unit and reduced gravity. When processed in unit gravity the glass crystallized, but when processed in reduced gravity, crystallization was suppressed. A possible explanation involving shear thinning is presented to explain these results.