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#26 2016-11-05 21:42:07

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

One of the things that we can make use of is the collection of 6 month plus of waste stream that man will creat on the way out to mars. All we need is the means to land it on mars for recycling and use on the surface.
This stream will have plastics, some foils, paper plus other items beside poop and urine to make use of once we are there.

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#27 2016-11-05 22:16:05

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,975

Re: Material Choices for Mars

Members, I think I can match up in part to what has already been provided.  I am not going to dispute the previous contributions, but try to augment them.  I think this may be a good one.
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/5407 … f-from-it/
Quote:

Materials
Researcher Demonstrates How to Suck Carbon from the Air, Make Stuff from It
A novel electrochemical process sequesters carbon in the form of a versatile building material.
by Mike Orcutt August 19, 2015
Avoiding dangerous climate change may require removing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.

A new method for taking carbon dioxide directly from the air and converting it to oxygen and nanoscale fibers made of carbon could lead to an inexpensive way to make a valuable building material—and may even serve as a weapon against climate change.

The fibers in this microscope image are made of carbon, produced via a new method that also removes carbon dioxide from the air.
Carbon fibers are increasingly being used as a structural material on the aerospace, automotive, and other industries, which value its strength and light weight. The useful attributes of carbon fibers, which also include electrical conductivity, are enhanced at the nanoscale, says Stuart Licht, a professor of chemistry at George Washington University. The problem is that it’s very expensive to make carbon fibers, much less nanofibers. Licht says his group’s newly demonstrated technology, which both captures the carbon dioxide from the air and employs an electrochemical process to convert it to carbon nanofibers and oxygen, is more efficient and potentially a lot cheaper than existing methods.
But it’s more than just a simpler, less expensive way of making a high-value product. It’s also a “means of storing and sequestering carbon dioxide in a useful manner, a stable manner, and in a compact manner,” says Licht. He points out that if the process is powered by renewable energy, the result is a net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In a recent demonstration, his group used a unique concentrated solar power system, which makes use of infrared sunlight as well as visible light to generate the large amount of heat needed to run the desired reaction.
The process requires molten lithium carbonate, with another compound, lithium oxide, dissolved in it. The lithium oxide combines with carbon dioxide in the air, forming more lithium carbonate. When voltage is applied across two electrodes immersed in the molten carbonate, the resulting reaction produces oxygen, carbon (which deposits on one of the electrodes), and lithium oxide, which can be used to capture more carbon dioxide and start the process again.
The researchers demonstrated the ability to make a variety of different nanofiber shapes and diameters by adjusting specific growth conditions, such as the amount of current applied at specific points of time and the composition of the various ingredients used in the process. They also showed they could make very uniform fibers. Licht says the mechanisms underlying the formation of the fibers still need to be better understood, and he’s confident the group can keep developing more control over the nature of the fibers it makes.
As for the technology’s emissions-cutting potential, the researchers are optimistic. They calculate that given an area less than 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert, the method could remove enough carbon dioxide to make global atmospheric levels return to preindustrial levels within 10 years, even if we keep emitting the greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.
Of course, this would require a huge increase in demand for carbon nanofibers. Licht believes the material’s properties, especially the fact that it is so lightweight and also very strong, will spur greater and greater use as the cost comes down, and he thinks his new process can help with that. Imagine that carbon fiber composites eventually replace steel, aluminum, and even concrete as a building material, he says. “At that point, there could be sufficient use of this that it’s actually acting as a significant repository of carbon.”

So, this process is made for Earth, but I would imagine that it might be great for Mars.  While they do not use U.V. to heat the process, I see no reason why it could not make a contribution.

So, Oxygen, and Carbon Fibers for building material's.  We would not cry about that would we?  Some Carbon forms are proposed for space elevator cables.  I don't much believe in the standard space elevator proposals, but so what?  Strong fibers for building material's on Mars would be a good thing I think.

...
So what are a few of the other things you could do with the Carbon?

...
Mushrooms?  You can grow Mushrooms in oil soaked soil, how about soil with Carbon mixed in, along with perhaps some organic waste?
This reference is only approximately a good fit.  I think that specialists in mushroom farming would need to be consulted, and experiments run on Earth, to come up with an appropriate method.  Anyway...
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents … 000086601/

Nutritional value of mushrooms.  I think that they are not all the same, anymore than different vegetables are.
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/ … rooms.html
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/veg … cts/2482/2
Quote:

The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin D, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Selenium.

...
Improving soil with Mushroom farming:
http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/ce … hroom-soil

Microbial production of Methane from Carbon and water?
Where Mushrooms will consume Carbon and Oxygen I presume along with organic wastes, another process might run from Carbon and Water, to produce Methane.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar … 6212000559
Quote:

Microbial production of methane and carbon dioxide from lignite, bituminous coal, and coal waste materials

*Note, I am taking some speculative "Flying Leaps" in the above materials.  I presume that the Carbon fibers produced can be digested by Mushrooms, and Microbes.  In the case of Mushrooms, I presume that Oxygen is needed.  In the case of microbes, I presume Oxygen is not needed.  I am not sure about the Oxygen not needed second part.

Goodnight.

Last edited by Void (2016-11-05 22:56:02)


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#28 2016-11-06 10:14:46

SpaceNut
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

From article another link from with in: Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo (STEP) Carbon Capture Process

STEP uses an electrolysis cell consisting of molten lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) as the electrolyte. Using the thermal energy of the sunlight, the cell is heated to a temperature above the melting point of lithium carbonate. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is then bubbled through the cell. The CO2 reacts with the lithium carbonate, and depending on the reaction temperature attained, either solid carbon is deposited at the cathode or carbon monoxide is produced.
STEP uses both the visible part of the sunlight and the thermal characteristic of it to capture and split atmospheric carbon dioxide into solidified carbon, at temperatures below 900ºC, or carbon monoxide, at temperatures above 900ºC, which may be constructively used for a variety of industrial applications.

other applications are to use it in Extracting iron from iron ores, like magnetite or hematite (Fe3O4 or Fe2O3) without releasing carbon dioxide into atmosphere.

Materials-Related Aspects of Thermochemical Water and Carbon Dioxide Splitting: A Review

Magnetite (Fe3O4): Properties, Synthesis, and Applications

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#29 2016-11-06 11:02:35

Void
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

I am glad you provided a broader spectrum of uses for the technology.

I am going to Segway just a bit, but this is connected in a way, it is a needed material.

This is one possible way to get vitamin B12, which does not come from Vegetables I believe.
It is a chemosynthetic route to animal meat.
Carbon>Microbe>Methane>Microbe>Clams>Vitamin B12?
                 ^                          ^          ^
               H2O?                      O2        O2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12

Quote:

Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. It is one of eight B vitamins. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.[1] No fungi, plants, nor animals (including humans) are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Proved sources of B12 are animal products (meat, fish, dairy products) and supplements. Some research states that certain non-animal products possibly can be a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis. B12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through a bacterial fermentation-synthesis. This synthetic B12 is used to fortify foods and sold as a dietary supplement.

So apparently B12 could be produced through bacterial fermentation-synthesis.  I am supposing that it might not hurt to have a Carbon to Bacterial food chain, but then maybe the bacteria could be fed plant products.  I just mention B12, because I don't recall it being specifically referenced elsewhere.

Last edited by Void (2016-11-06 11:11:08)


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#30 2016-11-06 16:45:31

SpaceNut
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Very much off topic but worth the response and information.....

The B complex of vitamins go with other numbers after them with differeent benifits for taking them.
B Complex Vitamins - What Are the Benefits?

A vitamin B complex is a dietary supplement that delivers all eight of the B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), B12. Also found naturally in a number foods, B vitamins help the body to produce energy and form red blood cells.

Each B vitamin is essential to certain bodily functions:

B1 and B2 are important for healthy functioning of the muscles, nerves, and heart
B3 helps regulate the nervous and digestive systems
B5 and B12 are required for normal growth and development
B6 supports the immune system and aids the body in breaking down protein
B7 is involved in the production of hormones
B9 helps cells make and maintain DNA
Studies show that taking supplements containing certain B vitamins may benefit your health. For instance:

B1 may help prevent kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes and reduce risk of cataracts
B2 may prevent migraines; B3 may lower cholesterol levels
B6 may protect against heart disease, relieve PMS symptoms, and alleviate pregnancy-related nausea
B9 may help prevent breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, as well as decrease risk of birth defects> when taken by pregnant women
B12 may lower cervical cancer risk and reduce levels of homocysteine (an amino acid thought to contribute to heart disease when it occurs at elevated levels)

So the greenhouse needs to grow these to counter lose due to radiation exposure....

To boost your intake of B vitamins, look for the following foods:

cereals and whole grains (a source of B1, B2, and B3)
green leafy vegetables (a source of B2 and B9)
eggs (a source of B7 and B12)
chicken (a source of B3, B6, and B12)
citrus fruits (a source of B9)
nuts (a source of B3 and B9)
kidney beans (a source of B1 and B2)
bananas (a source of B6 and B7)
Vitamin B5 is found in almost all foods.

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#31 2016-11-06 18:48:22

RobertDyck
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Animals require vitamin B12, but do not produce it. A few bacteria produce B12. One bacterium grows on cellulose, is cultured by the stomachs of cattle. Cattle have 4 stomachs, the 4th is the same as ours. The first three hold grass that the cow has eaten and chewed up. The grass is wet, chewed, soaked in saliva. Cellulose in the grass is broken down by bacteria. Cattle regurgitate this, that means puking into their own mouth. Then they chew it. If bacteria have decomposed it sufficiently, they chew and swallow into their 4th stomach. The bacteria breaks down cellulose into complex carbohydrates, and cows digest the bacteria. The bacteria add protein, lipids, as well as vitamin B12.

Meat from cattle has vitamin B12 concentrated in the tissue. When we eat beef, we consume that vitamin. But the source of vitamin B12 isn't cattle themselves, but rather bacteria that grow in their first 3 stomachs.

With this knowledge, some scientists tried to find bacteria that we could eat directly. Bacteria that's palatable and produces vitamin B12. They found something that they thought was a type of yeast, and could be grown in a vat of beer. The Guinness beer company noticed all the yeast they threw away with every batch of beer, and tried to find a way to turn it into something they could sell. They tried to turn it into palatable food humans could eat. Yeast have a strong cell membrane that our digestive system cannot break, so the first step is to break open yeast cells. They used autolysis, which means breaking something down with its own enzymes. They added a lot of salt, which caused yeast to swell until they burst. Once burst open, yeast break down by their own enzymes. It produced a spread you could put on bread or toast or crackers. They called it Marmite.

Yup, Marmite is made from beer yeast. At least the first version was. They wanted to sell this as a health food. It has the complete vitamin B complex, except B12. It was missing B12, so they added the strain of yeast that produces B12. Of course doing that changed the flavour of beer. They found they couldn't use that to produce beer. So in the end a batch to produce Marmite is completely different than a batch to produce beer. Unfortunately this isn't a way to use left-overs from beer. Instead it's a separate product that has to be made from grain and water.

Biologists later discovered that special strain of yeast that produces B12 isn't actually yeast. It's a type of bacteria, but grows in the same conditions that grow beer yeast.

Companies that produce vitamin supplements have looked for other strains of bacteria that produce B12. They wanted to find one that is more palatable, and cheaper to produce. They have found a couple strains. Most vitamin B12 pills are made this way now.

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#32 2016-11-06 21:17:12

Void
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Posts: 2,975

Re: Material Choices for Mars

Very good RobertDyck, you beat me to it.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won … nt-to-eat/
quote:

Chickens on an unsupplemented vegetarian diet typically fall short of an essential protein-based amino acid known as methionine, and without it, they fall ill. Worse, the birds will also turn on each other, pecking at each other in search of nutrients, and these incidents can escalate into a henhouse bloodbath, farmers say.

A henhouse bloodbath on Mars! Oh my.....

quote:

Will Harris of White Oak Pastures, a Georgia farm that raises birds, has been experimenting with feeding them the larvae of black soldier flies. The intent, he said, is to more closely mimic what a natural chicken diet might be.

So you guys might like this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetia_illucens

Now I am confused, is this another name for Vitamin B12?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methionine



I think so reading the following.
https://treato.com/Vitamin+B-12,Methion … oline/?a=s

They don't seem to mention that you can get irreversible nerve damage from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Here is something more to read, and then I will think that I can leave it alone.
https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclop … tID=P00080

Not quite:
quote:

Foods that are rich in both folic acid and vitamin B12 include the following:
Eggs
Meat
Poultry
Milk
Shellfish
Fortified cereals

Eggs, Meat, Poultry, Milk all have to get the Vitamin B12 from Eating meat, or as Robert also pointed out Milk could come from bacteria in Cows.

Shellfish, possibly get it from their food.  I did elsewhere and perhaps also here mention chemosynthetic shellfish that live in symbiosis with bacteria that consume Methane.  I believe they could also be a source of B12?
Fortified cereals must be a cheat, since you have to fortify them.

And here we are, seafood:
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/seafood-b12-7190.html
quote:

Seafood is not only lean and healthy, it also packs a bunch of vitamin B12 into your meal. In fact, many types of seafood provide all of your daily B12 in one single serving. You need B12 primarily for red blood cell production, but it also gives you brain power, supports cell functions throughout your body and keeps your metabolism going

I'm sorry, it is not like me to gloat, but...
fotolia_9727687_XS.jpg
quote:

Clams are one of the richest B12 foods.

Actually, I just got a lucky guess, but so what lucky is good!

Cold Seep / Methane Seep
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_seep … ommunities
Some of the clams, I believe can be edible:
330px-Noaamussels_600A_musselNearBrinePoolExpLophelia_II_2010.jpg

Frankly I think you do need an outside vegetable and grains greenhouse, with or without Chickens, and you need an artificial light greenhouse for some specialty plants, and I really suggest that you take a look at aquaculture with chemosynthetic shellfish, where they would be fed Oxygen and Methane only, and of course you would have to maintain the water quality for their survival.   And think about a Mushroom farm as well.  That is chemosynthesis as in a way also.  Two forms of farming that don't need lights or transparent pressure holding glazes.

The Methane could in part come from Carbon pulled from the Martian atmosphere, and reacted with water under high temperatures of solar thermal heat.

We talked of getting Oxygen and Carbon from the Martian atmosphere in the sub-topic just previous.

Yes, I guess this could be sort of off topic, but to run the biology of humans, chickens supplied with vitamin B12 or Clams or something else is needed, so really B12 is a critical material needed.

Thanks for patience Spacenut.
Thanks for contribution RobertDyck.

Last edited by Void (2016-11-06 22:26:26)


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#33 2016-11-11 18:12:19

Void
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Now, I am wondering about using Sulfur to seal crude air lock outer doors.

Supposing you have a large door that can shut to complete a pressurized enclosure, and sealed it in part with molten Sulfur.

The point being that air locks as I understand it must be carefully and precisely machined.

In this case, I would suppose a metal door, without a precision air tight seal, but the door itself could be fastened in many different ways to be secure.  And then just using a putty of molten Sulfur to seal it.

This would not be for frequent opening, but for situations where you wanted to move a bulk of materials into or out of a large industrial style enclosure.

But maybe I don't know Sulfur well enough?


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#34 2016-11-11 21:09:42

RobertDyck
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

I wrote this web page in 2002. It's a repost of my original that I posted in the Mars Society's first forum, 1999-2001.
Plastics

I started with Robert Zubin's book "The Case for Mars" which describes how to create methane, and how to create ethylene gas. Then Robert Zubrin says everything else can be created from that. Well, how exactly?

Base materials: hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, ethylene, benzene, toluene, naphthalene, phenol, ethylene glycol (aka glycol), acetone, cumene, terebinth (aka oil of turpentine or spirits of turpentine)

Plastics: Polyethylene (PE, LDPE, HDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Acrylic, Lexan (aka Polycarbonate, PC), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polystyrene (PS), Mylar (PET), Polybutadiene rubber (BR), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Phenolformaldehyde (aka phenolic), Nylon, Melamine resin

Most materials start with water and CO2. Polycarbonate requires sodium and chlorine, which come from salt. PVC requires chlorine. Nylon, ABS, and Melamine require nitrogen.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-11-12 09:47:08)

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#35 2016-11-12 09:31:39

SpaceNut
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Which goes back to the process plant that starts this process of collecting the water and Carbon Dioxide.

The second process section that makes water into hydrogen and Oxygen.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-temp … ectrolysis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-pres … ectrolysis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_e … ectrolysis

http://www.pioneerastro.com/Team/RZubrin_Articles.html
Followed by the third which changes Carbon dioxide and hydrogen into several ane and ene chains to which are further used to create other more complex compounds.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatier_reaction
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E … ch_process

Each of these steps need to optimized for mars conditions and for energy useage as well as tuned for the step to step processing of each.
Utilizing martian resources for life support
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_methane_reforming


Which means demonstrator units sent to mars on landers designed to prove which options can achieve the goals in a landing cycle for manned flight timeline.
Mars Power Generation Plant: Theoretical Design and Thermodynamic Analysis

Now this is using mars soils or ice that may be sub surface in sufficeint quantity to which other than orbital indicators and rovers will needs to have other rover and landers sent to work concurently to quantify the levels in a possible manned exploration site.
An independent assessment of the technical feasibility of the Mars One mission plan – Updated analysis

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#36 2016-11-12 10:02:15

RobertDyck
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Void mentioned seal for an airlock. That's usually neoprene rubber. Neoprene is different than polybutadiene rubber. Polybutadiene is the type of rubber used for car tires, and solid rocket motors. Has other applications. Neoprene is used for various things; one advantage is it's flame resistant. It's made by polymerization of chloroprene. Chloroprene is made from butadiene, 3 chemical steps to add chlorine.

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#37 2016-11-12 12:25:16

kbd512
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Rob,

Has NASA or anyone else tested field-replaceable airlock seals?  It seems to me that while the materials spacecraft modules are made from are fairly durable, the airlock seals are pretty may lack some of that robustness by way of comparison.  The seals are subject to damage from whatever environment they're operated in.  I think regolith abrasion has to be considered in light of NASA's stated desire to conduct daily EVA's on Mars.

Has that been considered or are we operating under the assumption that the particulate matter suspended in the Martian atmosphere and the regolith that the astronauts will track into the airlock is substantially less abrasive than lunar regolith?  I ask because the aluminum wheels on the Martian rovers seem to have all been damaged by the regolith.

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#38 2016-11-12 17:43:49

RobertDyck
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Well, they haven't tried field replaceable airlock seals, but there was one incident. One Soyuz spacecraft could achieve an airtight seal when attempting to dock with ISS. Turned out the rubber O-ring of the previous spacecraft had come off and was left on the ISS side of the airlock. Someone had to get in a spacesuit to remove the old seal so the spacecraft could dock. So there is a case of a removable O-ring.

Marian regolith is less abrasive. However, that's relative. Less abrasive than lunar regolith, but still pretty abrasive. Lunar regolith is igneous rock pulverized by repeated meteorite and micrometeorite impacts. Mars regolith is wind-blown fines. It includes clay, which is fairly soft, but also includes dust resulting from sand-blasting rock. Some of that rock is sedimentary, some igneous. So not razor sharp particulates like the Moon, but is sand like an Earth desert with buttes.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-11-13 05:54:43)

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#39 2016-11-12 19:35:46

SpaceNut
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

I think the ISS is replacing some of the air locks in preparation for the dragon docking and cst100 but I wonder if its also due to aging system replacement.....

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#40 2016-11-12 21:29:10

Void
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

I am currently interested in finding out what the value of Sulfur is as a building material.

Lunar Concrete has been proposed.
I have suggested sealing massive air locks with it but I am not confident that it is a best way.  Maybe on the Moon it would be, but perhaps not Mars.
I also am interested is seeing if shell worlds can be build using Sulfur, aggregate, mineral wool cloth, and of course some metal parts, and perhaps carbon cable to provide tensile strength.

This all potentially relates to Mars, if the Q-Drive actually works, because then Semi-Cyclers or even Cyclers, would make much more sense for travel to and from Mars.

I am not sure Sulfur will be as good on Mars as it would be in a Vacuum.

I recall reading that Sulfur is very strong in a vacuum, almost like a metal.  I don't know how it would behave in the Martian atmosphere.


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#41 2016-11-12 22:40:48

SpaceNut
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

The sulfur brick conversation has come up before but I am not able to find the topic that it was in but here is some information on the work status for using sulfur.

PRODUCING A BRICK FROM A MARTIAN SOIL SIMULATE

Materials Scientists Make Martian Concrete

Sulphur Bricks and Super-Arches

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#42 2016-11-13 06:24:27

RobertDyck
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Reading a NASA engineering document: "International Docking System Standard (IDSS) Interface Definition Document (IDD)" revision D, dated April 30, 2015. NASA's implementation of this is the "NASA Docking System". That's the new low-impact docking hatch for Orion, CST-100 Dreamliner, Dragon v2, and Dream Chaser. APAS was designed for a 120 tonne Space Shuttle to dock with a 300 tonne space station. Originally they said a 100 tonne Shuttle to dock with a 100 tonne station, but with full cargo hold and sufficient propellant in its tanks to de-orbit, Shuttle was more like 120 tonne. And ISS was small when it was just Zarya, Zvesda, and Harmony, but grew quite large. However, docking an 8.8 tonne Dragon v2 means you don't have the hard hit to engage latches.

This document shows location of seals, and seal protrusion height in millimetres. It gives maximum mated loads for seal closure (compression) force. Total seal adhesion force for both concentric seals. “Seal adhesion force” is defined as the force that is required to pull the docking pressure seals apart after they have been pressed together. However, it doesn't specify material.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-12-04 14:10:32)

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#43 2016-11-13 08:40:57

Void
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

Well, thanks for the help.

My conclusions are that;
1) Surprisingly Sulfur looks like it has good potential for building materials on Mars, on the condition that it be used correctly.  It may suit 3D printing.  I could imagine using a flame torch also to work it perhaps. 

2) Some places on the Moon will be unsuitable for Sulfur concrete.  I know that one article supplied by Spacenut indicated rapid sublimation, but I have found other articles that indicate this may not be so for cooler parts of the Moon.

3) As far as crude large door airlocks, perhaps using Sulfur as a final seal is not precluded.  Not enough information.

4) As far as making shells of Sulfur concrete, re-enforced by Fiber-Sulfur (Not Fiber-Glass), and with high tensile netting to add strength on the outside, I presume that some additional protection on the outside is desired/required.  A foil wrapper perhaps?

*The reason for wanting to do #4 would be to use rubble materials of asteroids bonded by Sulfur as both a radiation shield, and a pressure vessel, and even perhaps a generator of synthetic gravity.

*However, unless a convenient means of obtaining a large quantity of Sulfur in orbit were to occur, it now seems like an idea which is limited by practicality of resources.

*Instead, if the Q-Drive works, it would seem more realistic to build a double shell of metal from asteroid materials, and to sandwich rubble between the shells.

I am satisfied, unless anyone else wants to talk further about Sulfur.


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#44 2016-12-04 13:44:52

elderflower
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

How about this thread, Oldfart?

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#45 2016-12-04 13:51:04

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,598

Re: Material Choices for Mars

I'm "on it!"

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#46 2016-12-04 14:45:37

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,087

Re: Material Choices for Mars

I'm satisfied that we could make suitable mineral fibres from basalt and size them, even if the size has to brought in from earth. Having done that we can use rovings in FRP layup.
What I don't see is how we could bond the fibres to make a satisfactory structural material. The resins I am familiar with are not, so far as I know, easy to make.
We could live without foam cores as honeycomb type cores could be used, but we still need some kind of resin to bond components together and sealants to ensure that the structure is gas tight and to stick and seal patches.
If we can make these then we don't need to ship them from Earth, just a small scale production plant and any catalysts, ideally.
We might be able to generate phosgene on mars but Bisphenol A seems less likely, so whatever we select would need to be relatively easy to make using local materials (including all precursors) and would need the least complex and lightest possible production unit.
I assume that we would have fission reactors by the time we get to this stage, so power and heat will not be restrictive.

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#47 2016-12-04 15:19:26

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,598

Re: Material Choices for Mars

Bisphenol is synthesized from phenol and acetone. Straightforward synthesis.

I like only 2 plastics here: ABS and polycarbonate (Lexan) which can be used in greenhouse construction. If you check out the Wikipedia comments, ABS can incorporate fibers for increased strength. The fluorinated polymers suggested elsewhere would be fine for inflatable domes, but my attitude here is somewhat primitive: what can be inflated--can also be deflated (catastrophically!).

One product manufactured from ABS is Lego blocks. I envision structures made possible by having giant Lego "bricks" all cemented together with an ABS cement (contains either methy ethyl ketone [MEK] or acetone, both locally manufactured). These blocks could incorporate some fiber or regolith in order to enhance the radiation shielding properties. My concept for structures tends to be very pragmatic rather than idealized and hypothetical

Addressing the list posted earlier about essential B-vitamins; 2 are missing: L-Carnitine, and Coenzyme Q-10, both of which are required for metabolism of fatty acids and subsequent bodily energy production. A totally vegan diet is NOT as healthy as many voluntary "vegans" would have you think.

In a separate post below, I'll comment on the food production issue, as in addition to a 45 year career in chemistry, I have ranched for 20 years and know a bit about livestock management and growing crops.

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#48 2016-12-04 15:26:52

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Material Choices for Mars

I again post the link to my web page, which I wrote in 2002: Plastics
A couple chemical reactions. Again these are brief, they don't mention temperature, pressure, or catalyst.

CO + 2 Cl → phosgene (COCl2)

An electrolysis cell uses electricity to break salt. Actually, concentrated brine goes in one end, a semipermeable membrane separates the anode side of the water from the cathode side. Chlorine gas bubbles off the anode, hydrogen gas bubbles off the cathode. Brine is added to the anode side, brine with less salt is drained off. That ensures it doesn't accumulate contaminants. Clean water is added to the cathode side, sodium hydroxide is drained off.

Hydrogen gas and chlorine gas can be mixed with each other, no oxygen or air what so ever, and burned. The result is hydrogen chloride; when dissolved in water that's hydrochloric acid.

Sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid are used for various industrial processes, including extracting aluminum from ore. I posted elsewhere that we can use two types of feldspar for aluminum ore, igneous minerals that do occur on Mars, namely anorthite and bytownite. "Normal" Mars soil and rocks are roughly 1/4 bytownite, so it's everywhere. I presented a paper at the Mars Society convention in Chicago in 2004 how to do it. Similar to the process to extract aluminum from bauxite, but reverse the pH. After presenting the paper I discovered a mining company in Sweden is already doing it, mining anorthite. I have re-invented the wheel. Doh! However, that proves it works.

Of course source of salt is Mars soil.

acetone (C3H6O) + phenol + HCl → bisphenol-A

There are a couple ways to make phenol:
benzene (C6H6) + hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) → phenol (C6H5OH) + H2O
  or
toluene (C7H8) + permanganate (HMnO4) → phenol (C6H5OH) + something (possibly CO2 + H2O + Mn)

And I shouldn't copy the entire web page. I'm sure Oldfart1939 could correct anything in my plastics page, or add a lot of detail.

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#49 2016-12-04 15:35:22

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,598

Re: Material Choices for Mars

Another comment about O-rings; one of my late colleagues was involved in making O-rings for G-M vehicles, and they were primarily butadiene styrene polymers. I need to check on some old personal notes. There is a distinct possibility they could be 3D printed.

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#50 2016-12-08 12:38:55

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,087

Re: Material Choices for Mars

Still struggling with selection of resins. We need lowest possible pressures for making the resins and their precursors as High pressure equipment will mean high mass plants which must be shipped to Mars. For instance generation of Benzene is perfectly practicable using Mars material, but seems to require 50 bars or so. We don't do this much on earth because we can get benzene from cracking petroleum and LPG, and from coal.

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