If we could develop a good lunar mortar our lunar settlement could be built, largely by robots, from the most common lunar material available, rocks. Such buildings would provide radiation and meteor protection, and would stabilize the temperature inside.
This invention would also put the like to every SF book and movie ever made. It would redefine the look of people in space forever.
--Jriley 13:49, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
- Can you think of a way to do it with concrete? There's one or two concrete solutions that I'm aware of, one with sulfur and one that the Lunar University program awarded TD Lin for developing at this year's ISDC. Note that TD Lin's low hydrogen concrete cures really quickly...
- -- Strangelv 18:26, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Do you have good links? I would like to add them to the text.
--Jriley 14:00, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
More on Cement
I added more information on cement. I certainly think we can come up with a lunar substitute using chemical by-products from the volatiles harvester and screened regolith in some specific size range. I do not currently have a formula to test, but extensive Earth testing will be needed.
Imagine what effect a good mortar would have on our lunar settlement.
In the current plan, the first thing built is an all-purpose station. This multi-room building is now shown as metal cylinders. Its walls will not have enough mass to shield the occupants from radiation, especially in solar storms. Long term occupancy is not safe.
We can dig the station into the regolith and cover it with at least 2 meters of that material. This would take a lot of work and heavy equipment (see Architecture as Mole Hills).
Or, if we have a good lunar mortar, we could have robots slowly encase the operating station in a stone wall a meter thick. The doors would need arched walkways leading to them. The few windows would be set deep in the stone wall. The wall would arch over the top to form a roof.
This is a lunar station as a castle or a Roman villa. I have never seen such a thing in any SF story, ever.The above comments were posted by Jriley at 14:00 on the 23rd of July 2007.
How machines will be different on Luna
The lathe you write about could work the same way as a Lathe on Earth if it is used inside a pressurized environment. This seems to me to be a reasonable restriction even if it is operated completely by remote control. A compartment could be pressurized with hydrogen or argon and house a setup for machining alloys of sodium, calcium, and magnesium. Compounds of these metals are available on Luna and might be easier to smelt than aluminium.
You refer to CNC for EDM, but Lathes used in mass production on Earth are CNC devices too. - Farred 06:57, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
- The only thing that would be different in a 0 atm lathe would be the heat dissipation ratio. There are different methods of cooling that can be adapted to no atmosphere (i.e. running an pressurised cold liquid inside the piece. Also, no atmosphere would require only level 1 cuts... This would prevent cold welding. Yes, there are CNC lathes (and yes, they are used in mass production)
- Regarding a remote control facility... What is the minimum machinery that has to be present? What we have to send?
- The order of machinery can be summarized in: "Send the tools to build a machine that can build tools, even to build better tools that build tools" Then, we ask... as David Dieztler did: What to send first?
- David said a power source, perhaps a nuclear power source. Then, the means to gather and smelt metals. Then, a machining tool... even to build a better power source... or better smelters or better machining tools.
- This article will be one of the most important articles in Lunarpedia.--Jose Giraldez 00:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
- This article has the potential to be important, but to meet that potential sufficient knowledge of the machinery of our industrial infrastructure is required. I have only a very cursory knowledge of such things. So, the article that I could produce would have limited significance. However I do know that holding a piece to be machined in a lathe requires two rotary bearings, one at each end of the piece. These bearings need lubrication, which tends to evaporate in a vacuum. Possibly there is a way to handle the need for bearings in a vacuum, but the problem might be solved by doing machining in a pressurized chamber. - Farred 07:00, 4 June 2012 (UTC)