Behavior of compacted lunar simulants using new vacuum triaxial device

Chandra S. Desai, Hamid Saadatmanesh, Thomas Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Development and study of mechanical properties of engineering materials from locally available materials in space is a vital endeavor toward establishment of bases on the Moon and other planets. The objectives of this study are to create a lunar simulant locally from a basaltic rock, and to design and develop a new vacuum triaxial test device that can permit testing of compacted lunar simulant under cyclic loading with different levels of initial vacuum. Then, triaxial testing is performed in the device itself without removing the compacted specimen; this is achieved by a special mechanism installed within the device. Preliminary constrained compression and triaxial shear tests are performed to identify effects of initial confinements and vacuums. The results are used to define deformation and strength parameters. At this time, vacuum levels up to 10 -4 are possible; subsequent research should involve higher vacuum levels, e.g., 10-14 torr as they occur on the Moon. The research can have significant potential toward development of methodology so as to develop compacted materials for various construction applications, and also toward stress-strain-strength testing of lunar simulants with different vacuum levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-441
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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