So I read an article on the sand on Titan and its static properties. To sum up the article the gravity and atmosphere there make it so the triboelectric effect isn't overwhelming like it is on Earth, and thus the sand has a much stringer static cling. This article goes on to speculate jokingly that sandcastles could last up to weeks due to the static cling. Thus my question is what structure would the sand need to be shaped, and what kind of technology would be needed to make functional, life-sized architecture out of this sand and not just have it last a few weeks, but upwards for hundreds of years?

  • $\begingroup$ Hundreds of years seems like a stretch, given that Titan appears to have weather. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime I'd like them to be life-sized architexture, including standing up to the weather and other forces that come about to a reasonable degree $\endgroup$
    – Amoeba
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ I hate static shocks now... that sudden zap when you touch something charged. urgh. I'm going to hate it even more if it means my entire house turns into particles and falls on me. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ T make it last a long time, the trick would be to prevent the static from dissipating. On the other hand, is using the static properties to build and shape it in the first place, and then solidifying it, within scope? Use a 'magic wand' (unspecified technology) to 'paint' a structure, using static charge, for instance? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


Some decent hydraulics should do the trick:

what kind of technology would be needed to make functional, life-sized architecture out of this sand

A hydraulic press capable of reaching 7000 bar should do the trick:

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video source

This will turn sand like that into SandStone, which can make large sand castles which last for long periods. (I doubt it'd stand up to liquid methane rain so it might need a layer of plaster and coat of paint)

I know this isn't the answer you're looking for. Sorry :-( Titans static electricity can make sand dunes 100m high that face into the wind, but that's not enough power to keep roof and ceilings in place in a multi story castle, especially under dynamic loads of castle life.

Trying to calculate the required static charge needed to hold a castle together like this I'm coming up with ludicrous levels of voltage that would just arc and discharge - and the discharge arc would melt the sand into glass.

  • $\begingroup$ This sandstone came out pretty good! $\endgroup$
    – void_ptr
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 22:03

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