Concrete for building on Mars

NASA plans to organize a manned mission to Mars in the coming decades. But in order to successfully establish a colony on Mars, you will need to build facilities on the Red Planet, and this requires materials that are available locally (it would be very expensive to bring them from Earth). Dr. Ling Wang and his colleagues at Northwestern University have developed a technique to create concrete on Mars from materials available on Mars. Unlike concrete that is produced on Earth, Martian concrete is created without water. The process of making concrete involves heating sulfur to 240°C, turning it into liquid sulfur. Liquid sulfur is then mixed with Martian soil to form concrete. The idea to use molten sulfur for this purpose has been in the air for a long time. Such concrete has already been considered for the construction of lunar bases, but it turned out that it is not suitable for the atmosphere of the moon. But in the rarefied atmosphere of Mars, the conditions for it will be suitable, scientists say.

After a series of tests, a group at Northwestern University concluded that the best proportion for Martian concrete is 50% sulfur and 50% Martian soil with a maximum particle size of 1mm. According to their calculations, Martian concrete will be quite strong on Mars – twice as strong as standard concrete for residential buildings on Earth.