Martian Concrete, Rich In Sulphur, Made After Arrival
Once on the Red Planet, human explorers will need a base of operations. Rather than bring building materials all the way from Earth, it makes much more sense to make them on site.
a, Three point bending setup;
b, fracture surface;
c, typical cracks after bending test.
A significant step in space exploration during the 21st century will be human settlement on Mars. Instead of transporting all the construction materials from Earth to the red planet with incredibly high cost, using Martian soil to construct a site on Mars is a superior choice.
Knowing that Mars has long been considered a "sulfur-rich planet", a new construction material composed of simulated Martian soil and molten sulfur is developed. In addition to the raw material availability for producing sulfur concrete, while its strength reaches similar levels to conventional cementitious concrete, fast curing, low temperature sustainability, acid and salt environment resistance, 100% recyclability are appealing superior characteristics of the developed Martian Concrete.
In this study, different percentages of sulfur are investigated to obtain the optimal mixing proportions. Three point bending, unconfined compression and splitting tests were conducted to determine strength development, strength variability, and failure mechanisms. The test results are compared with sulfur concrete utilizing regular sand. It is observed that the particle size distribution plays a significant role in the mixture's final strength.
Furthermore, since Martian soil is metal rich, sulfates and, potentially, polysulfates are also formed during high temperature mixing, which contribute to the high strength. The optimal mix developed as Martian Concrete has an unconfined compressive strength of above 50 MPa, which corresponds to a roughly 150 MPa concrete on Mars due to the difference in gravity between Mars and Earth.
The formulated Martian Concrete is then simulated by the Lattice Discrete Particle Model (LDPM), which exhibits excellent ability in modeling the material response under various loading conditions.
Science fiction readers are already familiar with the idea of making what you need once you arrive on a new planet. In his 1951 novel The Moon is Hell, John W. Campbell wrote about marooned members of the second lunar expedition surviving by manufacturing solar cells using lunar materials.
"We have been mining steadily, and making some photocells... Another bank of photocells built, and set up. Our clockwork that keeps the cells facing the sun is overloaded. Rice to the rescue - with an electric torque amplifier...
More recently, William Gibson wrote about lunar concrete for use, not on the Moon itself, but in Earth orbit, in his 1988 novel Mona Lisa Overdrive:
Tessier-Ashpool ascended to high orbit's archipelago... And here they began to build... Ashpool borrowed heavily and the wall of lunar concrete that would be Freeside grew and curved, enclosing its creators.
From A Novel Material for In Situ Construction on Mars: Experiments and Numerical Simulations via the always excellent BLDGBLOG (haven't seen you in a while!).
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/8/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.' - Charles Sheffield, 1979.
How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...' - Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr., 1940.
International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks' - Robert Heinlein, 1948.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'
Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'
IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.
Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories