Design Codes for Lunar Structures

by H. Benaroya, Rutgers Univ, Piscataway, United States,
M. Ettouney, Rutgers Univ, Piscataway, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Manual of Steel Construction is a codification for the design and construction of steel structures. It includes information, some tabular and the rest in the form of specifications and commentaries, necessary to design and provide for the safe erection of steel framed structures. The design equations are generally semi-empirical, that is, they are based on a mix of theoretical analysis, experimental data, and factors of safety. Each of these components has associated explicit and implicit assumptions. Some of these assumptions will be explored with a goal to understand how and if the Earth-based design code can be used for the design of a lunar outpost. Topics discussed come from the AISC Code of Standard Practice, the Commentaries, and briefly discussed are issues such as scaling of loads and strength in the lunar 1/6g environment, thermal cycling effects and fatigue, stiffening and buckling. Important topics for further detailed study include: (i) the relationships between severe lunar temperature cycles and fatigue, (ii) very low-temperature effects and the possibility of brittle fractures, (iii) outgassing for exposed steels and other effects of high vacuum on steel/alloys, (iv) factors of safety, originally developed to account for uncertainties in the Earth design/construction process, undoubtedly need adjustment for the lunar environment, (v) dead loads/live loads under lunar gravity, (vi) buckling/stiffening, bracing requirements for lunar structures which will be internally pressurized, and (vii) consideration of new failure modes such as those due to high-velocity micrometeorite impacts.

Subject Headings: Steel structures | Steel construction | Thermal loads | Gravity loads | Standards and codes | Moon | Structural safety | Steel frames

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