Optimizing Lunar Concrete


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Title: Optimizing Lunar Concrete

Author(s): David O. Swint and S. R. Schmidt

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 125


Appears on pages(s): 41-56

Keywords: concretes; lunar bases; models; optimization; predictions; statistical analysis; tests; General

Date: 5/1/1991

The United States Air Force Academy's Engineering 410 class, Spring 1989, tested the feasibility of using concrete as a lunar construction material. This was a continuation of two previous semesters' effort. Concrete specimens were tested by combining different cement types, mixing environments, and additives to determine their effects on strengths and other engineering properties of the specimens. Using 5 different variables, a total of 80 possible combinations existed. The group used a D-optimal design with 18 possible combinations to build a prediction equation to optimize the concrete design mixture. Confirmation tests were conducted on the optimal design and compared with the mathematical algorithm prediction. The results demonstrate the power of this approach in experimentation for concrete applications.