Volume 642, October 2020
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||23 October 2020|
Tensile strength of dust-ice mixtures and their relevance as cometary analog material
Institut für Planetenforschung, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR),
2 Institut für Geophysik und Extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany
Accepted: 2 September 2020
Aims. The tensile strength of granular matter is of great importance to our understanding of the evolution of comets and to our attempts to reproduce processes on cometary surfaces in laboratory experiments. In this work, we investigate the tensile strength of three different materials and their mixtures, which can be used as cometary analog materials in the laboratory.
Methods. We used two types of siliceous dusts and granular water ice whose polydisperse particles were either angular or spherical. Our samples were cooled to below 150 K to better simulate the conditions of a cometary surface and to avoid thermal alteration of the material. We used the Brazilian disk test method to exert stress on the cooled samples and determine the tensile strength at the moment the samples broke.
Results. We find that the tensile strength of two component mixtures is strongly dominated by the component with the higher tensile strength. The materials made of mostly angular dust particles have a lower filling fraction, but a higher tensile strength compared to materials made of spherical particles. Furthermore, the tensile strength of the cooled components is substantially lower than the tensile strength of the same components at room temperature. This implies that the surface energy of the investigated materials at low temperatures is significantly lower than previously assumed.
Key words: comets: general / methods: laboratory: solid state / planets and satellites: formation
© ESO 2020
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