Analysis of Glass-Ceramic Production from Lunar Resources

by W. H. Poisl, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,
B. D. Fabes, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,
D. Allen, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,
S. Hawley, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,
A. Carpenter, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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

Abstract:

Two simulated regoliths were used to investigate the effects of processing and composition on the properties of lunar-derived glass-ceramics. For the simulant with moderate iron concentration, optimal processing resulted in a glass-ceramic with a strength of 315 MPa, nearly four times the strength of the parent glass. An increase in processing temperature above 1000 °C, however, resulted in very weak glass-ceramics. For the simulant with low iron content high strength glass-ceramics were not obtained by any heat-treatment. Analysis by x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy indicated that the high strength glass-ceramics were composed predominantly of fine-grained pyroxenes. The low strength glass-ceramics were composed of large, non-equiaxed plagioclase crystals. Therefore, to produce high strength glass-ceramics on the moon, the crystallization of plagioclase must be avoided, suggesting that regolith compositions with low concentrations of Al2O3 and CaO will be better suited for glass-ceramic production.



Subject Headings: Strength of materials | Iron compounds | Lunar materials | Material properties | Ceramics | Wave diffraction | Temperature effects | X rays | Alabama | United States

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