To build on the moon a construction company, nothing but a huge solar furnace of the plurality of mirrors and a 3D printer is not required. Experts from the European space Agency have demonstrated the production of lunar bricks in a test rig in the German aerospace center in Cologne.
As regolith – the real bulk of the lunar soil – the researchers used artificial, created from the earth’s volcanic material and shredded into the lunar dust. The ground they are laid layer by layer with a thickness of 0.1 mm in the printer and sintered at a temperature of 1000 degrees in a solar oven. The making of one building brick size 20х10х3 cm took five hours.
While the blocks come out not perfect shape due to uneven cooling: the edges get cool faster than the center. Experts see the solution to this problem is to increase the print speed. Another disadvantage of the “lunar” bricks lies in their insufficient strength, which is akin to plaster.
Review of associate Professor of the Department of innovation design, Samara state technical University Anton RAKOV:
– We know about the work of German engineers, but our “lunar” bricks were made earlier. The principles are similar — the regolith — 3D printer — sintering with the help of solar energy. However, our machine – heliolite, in contrast to the large German solar oven, designed specifically to deliver it to the moon. It is not excluded that we will work on the composition of the bricks, adding substances to increase strength.
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