Engineers Make No-Bake Bricks To Build Houses On Mars

Posted: Apr 27 2017, 12:11pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Engineers Make No-Bake Bricks to Build Houses on Mars
This is a brick made of Martian soil simulant compacted under pressure. The brick was made without any additional ingredients and without baking. Credit: Jacobs School of Engineering/UC San Diego
  • Engineers investigate a simple, no-bake recipe to make bricks from Martian soil

Engineers have examined a way of forming bricks from the surface soil of the Red Planet.

Cosmonauts and astronauts that will one fine day in the future go to Mars may need to make homes on its surface. Thus they will have to convert the dusty red soil into bricks to construct their residential units.

They wouldn’t even need any ovens to bake the bricks. Only pressure in the form of hard-hitting hammers will make the solid bricks a possibility.

These were the findings of a recent study. Engineers participated in the study and they have ratified a bill signed by President Donald Trump for travel to Mars by the time 2033 rolls in.

The people who travel to Mars will have to be intrepid. They will be trailblazers and trendsetters. One of the engineers who conducted the study has declared that he would love to make the bricks of the homes of the new human inhabitants of Mars.

Such plans are not new. Yet this one is such that it shows that not much resources are needed to construct homes on Mars other than some basic tools and Martian soil.

Erstwhile schemes included nuclear-powered brick kilns and chemical methods of making polymers stick together into solids on Mars. This method essentially does away with the polymerization and relies on local materials and external implements instead.

The bricks will not need a heat source either which is a big obstacle that has been cleared from the pathway of the future travelers. The procedure produces solid wedges that can be later on cut into bricks.

The iron oxide which is a part and parcel of the Martian landscape can be used as a binding agent for making the bricks. These Martian bricks will be more tensile than steel reinforced concrete. Additive manufacturing too might come in handy here.

The findings of this study, done by a team of engineers at the University of California San Diego and funded by NASA, are published today in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

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