Stresses in Concrete Panels Exposed to the Sun on the Moon


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Title: Stresses in Concrete Panels Exposed to the Sun on the Moon

Author(s): T. D. Lin, G. Ahmed, G. Hill, S. Robinson, T. Lin, C. Lindbergh, and J. O'Gallagher

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 125


Appears on pages(s): 141-154

Keywords: computer programs; concrete panels; heat transfer; lunar bases; precast concrete; prestressed concrete; sun; thermal stresses; Structural Research

Date: 5/1/1991

The recently established Lunar/Mars Program Office at Johnson Space Center is studying options that include construction of lunar outposts in the early twenty-first century, and subsequent structures for industrial operations. Major industrialization on the moon cannot occur without access to lunar resources. Construction of such structures as large pressurized habitats, launching facilities, lunar surface transportation systems, and liquefied oxygen storage tanks requires enormous volumes of materials. Experiments sponsored by the National Aeoronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and carried out at construction technology laboratories show the following: cements can be made from lunar anorthite and basalt; concrete made with lunar soils as aggregate has strength exceeding 10,000 psi; and a dry mixture of cement and aggregate wetted by injected steam will simplify concreting procedures and minimize needs for water and heavy equipment. In addition, a preliminary analysis of a prestressed precast concrete structure measuring 120 ft in diameter and 72 ft high shows that a properly designed concrete structure can confine atmospheric internal pressure. This project further investigates the effect of lunar temperature extremes on the behavior of precast concrete panels during the construction period. The major work involves calculations of heat flow in concrete panels exposed to the sun on the lunar surface and thermal stresses in the panels caused by the transient heat flow. Computer programs were written for the computations and results are presented.