Fashioning Bricks out of Bedrock
As an alternative to the harvesting surface regolith to
sinter into bricks, Allyn Shell suggests directly quarrying
larger pieces of solid rock to be fashioned into blocks, or
more complex shapes.
It seems likely that useful quarry sites for such solid
rock would be available near the lunar base. Lunar bedrock
is one obvious source for such solid rock, although it is
usually found at least 5-10 metres below the surface. The
Lunar Sourcebook states that bedrock material may be found
where "young lava flows or impact melt sheets are present,
on steep slopes within the walls of rille, or in crater
walls and central peaks."
The bulk regolith near the surface is an aggragate of
rocks and smaller particles, and thus requires the cohesion
sintering provides. However, another approach might be to
experiment with vibration frequencies which prevent the
regolith particles from interlocking to move bulk,
uncohesive material into moulds, then to change the
vibration frequency to encourage interlocking. This technique has been used by
Russian engineers on dams in Egypt, where they
invented the technique of vibrating sand.
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