Sieving Lunar Soil At NASA

Russell Finex supply separation equipment for testing under lunar conditions

by Darren Ralphs | Friday 22 July 2016

With increased interest in mining lunar soil from the moon, NASA approached the University of Wisconsin to carry out new research looking into the feasibility of utilizing existing mining technologies used on Earth within lunar gravity.

With one trip to the moon costing an estimated $3 billion, travelling there to carry out experiments was not an option. Therefore, the research team needed to simulate lunar gravity, obtain a suitable sample of lunar regolith (soil) and find a suitable sieve that could separate lunar particles both on the ground at the airbase, as well as in lunar gravity.

Due to space limitations the sieve needed to be small and compact as well as simple and easy to clean during flights. For this, the research team contacted Russell Finex following a recommendation from NASA.

The Russell Compact Sieve® check-screener was chosen for the experiment due to its straight-through, compact design. This vibratory sieve for metal powders and minerals provides accurate, high capacity screening at less than half the size of traditional industrial sieves, accurately removing oversize and guaranteeing consistent powder quality.

It is also available in a wide range of sizes and options, and Russell Finex offers customization of its full range of products, meaning every machine can be tailored to suit exact requirements across various applications.

Having installed the Russell Compact Sieve®, the results of the trials provided some promising findings, suggesting that the vibrating sieve could be used successfully within lunar gravity.

The Russell Compact Sieve® :
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Martin Chipperfield
Russell Finex Ltd
+44 20 8818 2000

Friday 22 July 2016 / file under Aerospace | Engineering | Technology