The work presents a discussion of the floating-zone (FZ) problem in terms of fundamental concepts and simulations as well as some prototype applications. New results are included along with a compilation of published material. Working engineering models and generalised correlations are developed, while providing a rigorous framework for deeper understanding and effective treatment of relevant phenomena encountered in the FZ process. The difference between the "half-zone" and the "full-zone" and the related possibility to use one or the other configuration to capture the FZ fundamental hydrodynamics are elucidated. The attention is focused on microgravity fluid-dynamic aspects since high-quality material processing is expected to be enabled in the space environment. Moreover, since most of the available experimental data come from on-ground experimentation, some effort is spent to elucidate the behaviour of the liquid zone under normal gravity conditions.
- floating-zone (FZ) problem