Matthew Soltani, Ph.D., P.E., Mitchell Thiel and Patrick Fishburne



Mars colonization signifies the upcoming frontier in space exploration and construction. Leveraging materials native to Mars presents a sustainable strategy for building habitats.

Sulfur concrete, which can be synthesized using Martian soil, surfaces as a promising material in this context. While concrete benefits from reinforcement, shipping it from Earth is prohibitively expensive. As a solution, this study explores bamboo bars as tensile reinforcements in sulfur concrete beams, examining two distinct beam sizes.

The bamboo bars’ ultimate tensile strength and density stand at roughly 38% and 9.5% of A36 mild steel’s benchmarks, respectively. Intriguingly, bamboo-reinforced beams reported a 30% to 60% shear strength augmentation compared to their nonreinforced counterparts. The research also delved into the beam size effect, revealing that larger bamboo-reinforced beams boast an 87% enhancement in postcracking stiffness relative to their smaller counterparts.