Cold sintering as a promising ISRU technique: A case study of Mars regolith simulant

1Levent Karacasulu,2David Karl,2Aleksander Gurlo,1Cekdar Vakifahmetoglu
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2022.115270]
1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Izmir Institute of Technology, Urla, 35430 Izmir, Turkey
2Technische Universitaet Berlin, Institute of Materials Science and Technology, Chair of Advanced Ceramic Materials, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Copyright Elsevier

Mars regolith simulant (MGS-1) was densified for the first time via a cold sintering process (CSP) as a novel in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) concept. The technique comprises the utilization of NaOH solution as a liquid media during the densification of simulant powder with <100 μm particle size. In as short as 30 min, with the increase in the NaOH concentration (from 3 M to 10 M) and processing temperature (from 150 °C to 250 °C), the relative densities of the regolith compacts and the mechanical properties were enhanced. The artifacts produced with Mars regolith simulant powder at 250 °C using 10 M NaOH solution yielded a relative density of around 88% and compressive strength reaching ~45 MPa.

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