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Melt-processing of lunar ceramicsThe goal of this project is to produce useful ceramics materials from lunar resources using the by products of lunar oxygen production processes. Emphasis is being placed on both fabrication of a variety of melt-processed ceramics, and on understanding the mechanical properties of these materials. Previously, glass-ceramics were formed by casting large glass monoliths and heating these to grow small crystallites. The strengths of the resulting glass-ceramics were found to vary with the inverse square root of the crystal grain size. The highest strengths (greater than 300 MPa) were obtained with the smallest crystal sizes (less than 10 microns). During the past year, the kinetics of crystallization in simulated lunar regolith were examined in an effort to optimize the microstructure and, hence, mechanical properties of glass ceramics. The use of solar energy for melt-processing of regolith was examined, and strong (greater than 630 MPa) glass fibers were successfully produced by melt-spinning in a solar furnace. A study of the mechanical properties of simulated lunar glasses was completed during the past year. As on Earth, the presence of moisture was found to weaken simulated lunar glasses, although the effects of surface flaws was shown to outweigh the effect of atmospheric moisture on the strength of lunar glasses. The effect of atmospheric moisture on the toughness was also studied. As expected, toughness was found to increase only marginally in an anhydrous atmosphere. Finally, our efforts to involve undergraduates in the research lab fluorished this past year. Four undergraduates worked on various aspects of these projects; and two of them were co-authors on papers which we published.
Document ID
Document Type
Fabes, B. D.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Poisl, W. H.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Allen, D.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Minitti, M.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Hawley, S.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Beck, T.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Space Engineering Research Center for Utilization of Local Planetary Resources
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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