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Fire Clay

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Project Status::In progress[[Project::true]]

Fire Clay can be used to make Fire Bricks which are very heat resistant and can be used in the construction of Themal Insulation Chambers. On earth, fire clay is often mined directly, however it will probably need to be made from other raw materials on celestial habitats.

Obtaining a process for producing a refractory material out of native Martian materials capable of withstanding the heat required to perform zirconia electrolysis and the FFC Cambridge process is currently an OpenVirgle project and this page may be used to store notes and other media until the projects completion.


-Contradictory information to "alumina increases refractoriness" found here: [1] in paragraph titled refractory.

- High silica bricks need to be heated very slowly, but may work better than other fire bricks [2]

-silica and fire clay cannot be used in a basic environment [3]

-General info [4]

- The comments in this instructable about half way down the page explain how to make a refractory [5]. It also confirms childrens play sand is useable as silica, which should make experimenting cheaper.

-Finally found some stuff about making silica bricks here: [6] Alumina reacted with silica forms mullite [7] (I wish wikipedia would improve its mineral articles). It looks like this is completely feasible, basically you just mix alumina and silica and heat them to over 1100 degrees celsius. (I think)

- This website verifies that mullite has a high enough operating temperature to support all of the electrolysis devices we need. [8]

Now that a bit of basic research is done the next step is to make sure both raw materials can be obtained on the surface. Once that is done we can say with probably 90% certainty that mullite can be created on Mars. This has very big implications, if we have mullite we can make solar panels, make glass, smelt metals, generate oxygen and more; assuming enough energy and raw materials are available. Couldn't ask for better timing of reaching this point, the Mars Phoenix Lander should tell us the exact composition of Martian soil, at least at one site.

I'm starting with alumina, this info will be transfered to the Alumina page once a pathway to ISRU fireclay has been found.

-Alumina can be harvested from anorthosite, ctrl+f obtaining alumina in this article: [9]

-Came across this wonderfully impossible to parse article which could be a great rsource: [10]