Encapsulated Spray Foam Habitats
Advisor: Steve Alexander
- Carlos Barron
We propose the development of a pre-formed, inflatable, durable, water resistant habitat(s) requiring the use of a spray foam component serving as an inflation method. The spray foam will provide structure to the inflatable habitat. If we want to create long term human habitats on another planet, taking Mars for example, we need to reduce the cost and the complexity of fabricating and assembling buildings to house our exploration efforts. Phase one of this project will consist of identifying and verifying a set of criteria that a proposed spray foam should meet in order to be considered suitable for the purposes of safely and efficiently expanding within an enclosure. One such criteria would be how well the spray foam sample performs in a Mechanical Pull Test. This test, along with various other physical characteristics, including the speed of inflation and the durability of the spray foam in environments with varying temperatures, will make it easier to determine the important properties a spray foam system will need to exhibit in order to be feasible for use in constructing a long-term human habitat. The fact that these spray foam habitats are lightweight, inflatable, durable, low-cost and quickly fabricated will make them a better alternative than current housing methods employed for inhospitable conditions such as alien landscapes, areas affected by natural disasters or remote areas lacking in building materials.