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Solar 3D printing of lunar regolith

Meurisse, Alexandre and Makaya, A. and Sperl, Matthias and Willsch, Christian (2018) Solar 3D printing of lunar regolith. Acta Astronautica, 152, pp. 800-810. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.06.063. ISSN 0094-5765.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576518303874


The authors demonstrated the feasibility of sintering lunar regolith layer-by-layer solely using concentrated sunlight. First trials using actual concentrated sunlight led to an inhomogeneous sintering of individual layers of lunar regolith simulant, due to the significant flux density variations caused by atmospheric fluctuations. Tests focusing Xenon light demonstrated however the concept with the manufacturing of the first solar 3D printed brick made of lunar regolith simulant. The use of artificial light enabled steady illumination conditions over several hours as required to sinter lunar regolith layer-by-layer. Actual compressive strength of the sintered bricks, below 5 MPa, might be currently too low for a direct lunar application. High porosity levels and weak layer-to-layer bonding were observed on the micro-scale, but ways of improving the technology were found by reducing the thermal gradient and the cooling time between consecutive layers, thus showing the potential of the process. Adaptation of the technology on the Moon is presented to illustrate the suitability of solar additive manufacturing on the lunar surface, as a possible technique for shielding habitats and building roads prior to arrival of the astronauts.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/123179/
Document Type:Article
Title:Solar 3D printing of lunar regolith
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Meurisse, AlexandreInstitut für Materialphysik im WeltraumUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:29 September 2018
Journal or Publication Title:Acta Astronautica
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 800-810
Keywords:3D printing; Solar sintering; Regolith; ISRU; Moon; Lunar simulants
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Renewable Energies
HGF - Program Themes:Solar Fuels
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SW - Solar and Wind Energy
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Solar Fuels (old), R - Materials Research and Microgravity (MuM)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Materials Physics in Space > Scientific Experiments MP
Institute of Solar Research > Solar Chemical Engineering
Deposited By: Sattler, Prof. Dr. Christian
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:26
Last Modified:05 Feb 2020 14:02

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