Research press release


Scientific Reports

Materials science: Martian masonry



今回、Yu Qiaoたちの研究グループは、模擬火星土壌の一種であるMars-1a粒子を常温で高圧圧縮してできた高密度の岩石に似た固形物が鉄骨鉄筋コンクリートより優れた強度を有していることを実証し、火星の土壌から検出されることの多いナノ粒子状酸化鉄が、この圧縮過程で結合剤として作用することを明らかにした。Qiaoたちの考えでは、火星上に見られる自己凝集性を有する土壌をさらに圧縮すると高強度の構造材を作製でき、この製造プロセスが、付加製造(材料を徐々に付加しながら構造体を製造する手法)と両立し得るとされる。

A Martian-soil simulant - a compound that is similar in chemical composition to Martian soil - can be compressed into a solid that may hold potential as a building material according to a study in Scientific Reports this week.

Permanent human settlement on Mars would require infrastructure to sustain life, and a steady supply of structural materials would be required. However, questions arise over whether such materials can be made solely through the use of in-situ resources and if energy-intensive processes during production, such as thermal treatment, can be avoided.

Yu Qiao and colleagues demonstrate that upon high-pressure compression, Mars-1a particles - a Martian-soil simulant - form a solid at ambient temperature that is similar to dense rock, with strengths exceeding that of steel-reinforced concrete. The authors found that nanoparticulate iron oxide, commonly detected in Martian soil, acts as a bonding agent during this process. The authors suggest that the self-cohesive soils seen on Mars may be further compressed into high-strength structural materials and that this process may be compatible with additive manufacturing, in which material is added to structures incrementally.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01157-w


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