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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

In-Situ Generation of Polymer Concrete Construction Materials, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Expanding the capability of human exploration is a primary goal for NASA and the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) program which focuses on transforming available material resources on extraterrestrial surfaces into usable materials and products. By identifying, collecting, and converting local resources into products that can reduce mission mass, cost, and/or risk, a sustainable manned expedition to Mars becomes closer to reality. Bulk or modified regolith can be combined with a binder as a concrete aggregate to form a construction material that can be extruded into bricks or slabs for structures, shelters, landing pads, roads, and shielding. With this goal in mind, researchers at Luna have identified a polymer concrete formulation based on urea-formaldehyde (UF) that can be pressed into high compressive strength interlocking bricks suitable for construction. Luna's binder system can also be produced in-situ from feed gases identified by NASA (N2, H2, CO2) while generating O2 and water. If successful, these UF polymers are also expected to have additional use in the production of plastic parts or components to support mission sustainability. More »

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Project Duration

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