Material conditioning for the processing of mineral materials and polymers in space
In subproject B "Material Conditioning for Processing of Mineral Materials and Polymers in Space" a production chain for the regolith simulants TUBS-M (for mare areas) and TUBS-T (for terrae areas) is developed. This is first tested on a laboratory scale and then scaled up to larger volumes. The regolith simulants are manufactured using a modular system. In the first step, raw material from Earth is mined. The material resembles the mare or terrae material in its chemical composition. The mined material is then crushed by special processes, so that the shape of the particles is as sharp as possible. Subsequently, the obtained powder is sieved to obtain various fractions. Alongside with other additives, these fractions form the construction kit of the regolith simulants. If someone requires regolith simulants for a particular site on the Moon, the necessary parts of the kit are mixed according to the analysis data of the site on the Moon. Thus, any site on the lunar surface can be simulated with the adapted TUBS-M and TUBS-T.
Manufacturing process of the regolith simulants TUBS-M and TUBS-T
In addition to the production and investigation of the regolith simulants, the production of hybrid materials from powders and polymers is also investigated in subproject B. For this purpose, the polymer materials selected in TP C will be filled with the regolith simulants and the resulting material properties will be investigated.