Basalt Fiber-Reinforced ABS: Researchers Develop Thermoplastic Composite for Use in Space

Dreytek 3-mm basalt fibers.

Dreytek 3-mm basalt fibers.

October 8, 2019 | Source: 3D Print, 3D Print.com, Bridget O' Neal, 29 September 2019

In the recently published "Development and Mechanical Properties of Basalt Fiber-Reinforced Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene for In-Space Manufacturing Applications," we learn more about materials necessary for building in space; for example, a habitat on Mars would most likely be built out of a combination of materials from Earth as well as what is naturally found there, cutting expenses exponentially.

As technology progresses, we realize that space travel and colonizing will mean extreme measures in sustainability. As the reality of a NASA mission to Mars looms, there are years of preparation ahead, along with enormous research and development efforts required to figure out logistics and countless details. Materials science will figure in predominantly though, as it is critical to areas like aircraft maintenance and more, but also to colonization.

The researchers list the most important features for space material:

  • Strength
  • Stiffness
  • Impact resistance
  • Ability to shield from radiation
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