Planetary Simulant Database: BHLD20 Lunar Dust Simulant

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Component Wt.%
Synthetic agglutinates 35
Volcanic glass 20
Plagioclase 25
Other minerals 20

Bulk Chemistry

Oxide Wt.%
SiO2 50.17
TiO2 1.18
Al2O3 17.21
Cr2O3 0.31
FeO 7.93
MnO 0.12
MgO 3.34
CaO 9.41
Na2O 5.59
K2O 1.67
Total 96.93

Physical Properties

Property Value
Median grain size 250-300 nm
Grain aspect ratio 0.58
Simulant Name: BHLD20 Lunar Dust Simulant
Current Status: Continued development
Developed By: Beihang University
Available From: N/A
Publications: Sun, H. et al. (2017), Developing a new controllable lunar dust simulant: BHLD20. Planetary and Space Science 141, 17-24.

BHLD20 is a high-fidelity lunar dust simulant developed recently in China. It follows other dust simulant varieties including NU-LHT-1D, JSC-1AVF, and CLDS-i. The simulant is made from a combination of basaltic scoria and anorthositic plagioclase, both natural materials mined in China from Huinan and the Taihang Mountains, respectively.

To create the simulant, part of the material is partially melted in a muffle furnace in order to create glassy synthetic agglutinates. The temperature is controlled to obtain enough glass but not fully melt the material. This agglutinate-like product is added to the crystalline minerals in various proportions, with a 55% total glassy component for the standard version.

To achieve a fine particle size distribution, the materials are ground in a sand-milling machine with water to produce a slurry that is then dispersed with Vinyltriethoxysilate (A151) and dried.

Sun et al. (2017) mention applications for the Chang’E-V mission, but do not say how much simulant has been produced or its availability.


Photograph of BHLD20 from Sun et al. (2017):

Other Lunar Dust & Misc. Simulants
BHLD20 | CLDS-i | CMU-1 | GRC-1/3 | Kohyama