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Why Isn't Concrete Used On Space Stations Or Space Craft

Space Station Space Craft Materials Construction

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#18 fahrquad

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:28 PM

Concrete is too porous to hold air to be a practical material and too heavy (and expensive) to launch in to space, not to mention the problem of getting it to cure in a frigid vacuum.  Building in space with metal would be easier since there is plenty of it whizzing by in the form of meteors, asteroids, and derelict satellites.  I am not sure how much though has been given to the idea of building with ice.  A thin membrane could be deployed, then inflated with a small amount of gas, then sprayed from the inside with liquid water to freeze on the frigid membrane.  Successive layers of ice could be added to attain the desired thickness.  Sealing punctures would be a simple process from the inside.  Ice is fairly abundant in comets, asteroids, and some moons.  If sublimation becomes an issue, a reflective coating could be applied to the surface facing the sun.   



#19 fahrquad

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:31 PM

Oh heck, why don't we just build a giant ring around the sun using all of the material in the solar system like Larry Niven's novel "Ringworld".

 

https://en.wikipedia...ingworld_series

 

There are no new ideas, jut new people to think them up.  --Me



#20 GAHD

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 08:47 PM

Concrete is too porous to hold air to be a practical material and too heavy (and expensive) to launch in to space, not to mention the problem of getting it to cure in a frigid vacuum.  Building in space with metal would be easier since there is plenty of it whizzing by in the form of meteors, asteroids, and derelict satellites.  I am not sure how much though has been given to the idea of building with ice.  A thin membrane could be deployed, then inflated with a small amount of gas, then sprayed from the inside with liquid water to freeze on the frigid membrane.  Successive layers of ice could be added to attain the desired thickness.  Sealing punctures would be a simple process from the inside.  Ice is fairly abundant in comets, asteroids, and some moons.  If sublimation becomes an issue, a reflective coating could be applied to the surface facing the sun.   

Vacuum is not frigid. Vacuum stops heat transfer because there's no air to drag it away, the only heat loss is black-body radiation, this is why satellites can easily overheat. Just saying.
 



#21 fahrquad

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 08:57 PM

Sorry, but I was assuming construction would be in the shadow of a body to prevent exposure of construction personnel to solar radiation.



#22 GAHD

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:15 PM

Sorry, but I was assuming construction would be in the shadow of a body to prevent exposure of construction personnel to solar radiation.

Don't be sorry, just take it as an opportunity to learn and think. Now that you mention it it brings up an interesting point: Chemical reactions, like say binder-hardening of cements, could easily lead to runaway overheating. That's a valid concern. There's no atmos to pull the excess heat away after all.

Space being "cold" is a rather interesting misconception a lot of people have. I mean, there IS an absence of heat energy, but that doesn't lead to "cold" the same way it does down on this rock. Edit: you gotta think of free space as a giant thermos tube to really get a grasp on it I guess. The soup inside stays hot longer.