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Material aspects of sintering of EAC-1A lunar regolith simulant

  • Future lunar exploration will be based on in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) techniques. The most abundant raw material on the Moon is lunar regolith, which, however, is very scarce on Earth, making the study of simulants a necessity. The objective of this study is to characterize and investigate the sintering behavior of EAC-1A lunar regolith simulant. The characterization of the simulant included the determination of the phase assemblage, characteristic temperatures determination and water content analysis. The results are discussed in the context of sintering experiments of EAC-1A simulant, which showed that the material can be sintered to a relative density close to 90%, but only within a very narrow range of temperatures (20–30 °C). Sintering experiments were performed for sieved and unsieved, as well as for dried and non-dried specimens of EAC-1A. In addition, an analysis of the densification and mechanical properties of the sintered specimens was done. The sintering experiments at different temperatures showed that the finest fraction of sieved simulant can reach a higher maximum sintering temperature, and consequently a higher densification and biaxial strength. The non-dried powder exhibited higher densification and biaxial strength after sintering compared to the dried specimen. This difference was explained with a higher green density of the non-dried powder during pressing, rather than due to an actual influence on the sintering mechanism. Nevertheless, drying the powder prior to sintering is important to avoid the overestimation of the strength of specimens to be fabricated on the Moon.

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Author:Juan-Carlos Ginés-Palomares, Miranda Fateri, Tim Schubert, Lilou de Peindray d’Ambelle, Sebastian Simon, Gregor Gluth, Jens Günster, Andrea ZoccaORCiD
Source Title (English):Scientific Reports
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2023
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Aalen
Granting Institution:Hochschule Aalen, Maschinenbau und Werkstofftechnik
Release Date:2024/02/27
Article Number:23053
Number of Pages:14
Faculty:Maschinenbau und Werkstofftechnik
Open Access:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International