ESA, ArianeGroup and DLR German Aerospace Centre have successfully developed and hot – fire experimented a thrust chamber exclusively using 3D printing. Extensive similar experiments were done in the previous year using the hot -fire method and technology on an Expander – cycle Integrated Demonstrator.
The thrust chamber is an important part in the engine of a rocket since it’s the means through which the chemical energy stored in the propellants is turned into kinetic energy which is needed for launching. Since this chamber goes through a lot of pressure and tension, it should have the ability to handle these stressors. Housed within the chamber are the injector, a combustion chamber and the nozzle.
On 26th March 2020, the initial test was done for 30 seconds at Lampoldshausen experimenting office. More tests are scheduled to happen in the coming week and will provide data to be used for improving the process. Additionally DLR, an ESA partner has also been carrying out groundbreaking Metal PFT tests. Powder Bed Fusion technology uses laser or electron beams to melt and fuse the material powder. The tests were done on Zero Gravity environments on parabolic flights.
The thrust chamber which was wholly printed using 3D technology consists of three parts and is anticipated to provide power for the upper parts of rockets in days to come. Through 3D printing more intricate designs can be developed and printed. The technology also called additive manufacturing develops highly effective components as well as reduces the quantity of printed parts from hundreds to just three. This significantly lowers production times hence lower costs. The aerospace industry has benefited with the market for liquid propulsion engines for European launch vehicles getting more cut -throat.
The chamber features a 3D printed copper liner with inbuilt cooling channels and a strong jacket build through cold-gas spraying . The manifold and injector are 3D printed too. These parts were produced and tested in line with the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme by ESA.
More 3D Printing News
Visagio has entered into collaboration with the 3D printing Dutch firm, DiManEx to improve supply chain management.
DiManEx will facilitate the shift from off-shore mass production orientation to an on-demand end-user strategy using 3D printing.
Using Supply Chain Inspector, companies decide on parts that are needed for a shift, and using DiManEx’s solution, they are linked with the appropriate 3D printers who will facilitate the production. While it happens, there is a need to keep the process smoothly running while ensuring order amounts, technical specifications, and wait times are observed.