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Mechanical Properties of Lunar Regolith and Lunar Soil SimulantThrough the Surveyor 3 and 7, and Apollo 11-17 missions a knowledge of the mechanical properties of Lunar regolith were gained. These properties, including material cohesion, friction, in-situ density, grain-size distribution and shape, and porosity, were determined by indirect means of trenching, penetration, and vane shear testing. Several of these properties were shown to be significantly different from those of terrestrial soils, such as an interlocking cohesion and tensile strength formed in the absence of moisture and particle cementation. To characterize the strength and deformation properties of Lunar regolith experiments have been conducted on a lunar soil simulant at various initial densities, fabric arrangements, and composition. These experiments included conventional triaxial compression and extension, direct tension, and combined tension-shear. Experiments have been conducted at low levels of effective confining stress. External conditions such as membrane induced confining stresses, end platten friction and material self weight have been shown to have a dramatic effect on the strength properties at low levels of confining stress. The solution has been to treat these external conditions and the specimen as a full-fledged boundary value problem rather than the idealized elemental cube of mechanics. Centrifuge modeling allows for the study of Lunar soil-structure interaction problems. In recent years centrifuge modeling has become an important tool for modeling processes that are dominated by gravity and for verifying analysis procedures and studying deformation and failure modes. Centrifuge modeling is well established for terrestrial enginering and applies equally as well to Lunar engineering. A brief review of the experiments is presented in graphic and outline form.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Steven W Perkins
(University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
October 13, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: University of Colorado Center for Space Construction First Annual Symposium. Volume 1: Plenary Session
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Meeting Information
Meeting: University of Colorado Center for Space Construction Annual Symposium
Location: Estes Park, CO
Country: US
Start Date: October 11, 1989
End Date: October 13, 1989
Sponsors: University of Colorado Boulder
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