Method to Bind Planetary Regolith in Rigid Structures for Space Based Habitats

uah p 17028

Docket: UAH-P-17028


To colonize other planets there will be a need for basic building materials such as tiles, bricks, and tubes. Building walls, walkways, landing pads, and diverting fluids are some of the basic necessary functions these building materials would provide. Currently the only methods for creating such pieces from regolith require either a high heat or high pressure sintering process, or an adhesive or cement.

Researchers at UAH have developed a new method for creating building materials utilizing planetary regolith. This new method utilizes a task-oriented ionic liquid to chemically sinter the planetary regolith into bricks and other building materials. This process will provide an efficient and effective way to create building materials in a non-Earth environment.

The ionic liquid chemically sinters the planetary regolith by partially dissolving the regolith, making a soft binding layer on each particle which allows molding to the desired shape. The ionic liquid is recovered from the part by washing before sintering. Recycling of the ionic liquid results in a huge savings in materials that must be brought to the site. In addition to this, there is no need for heat or pressure to be applied to the materials. Once the ionic liquid is recovered, the material hardens and is ready to use. This UAH developed technology is very amenable to an automated method of manufacturing building materials as well, requiring little human input.


  • Space exploration
  • Space colonization
  • Building materials


  • Low energy consumption
  • Reusable materials
  • Automated manufacturing capability


  • State of Development: Concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent status: Proprietary