NASA is partnering with Aerojet Rocketdyne to advance 3D printing applied sciences, often known as metallic additive manufacturing, and its capabilities for liquid rocket engines in landers and on-orbit phases/spacecraft.

The Robotic Deposition Know-how crew accomplished the primary part of testing a 3D-printed metallic thrust chamber meeting at NASA’s Marshall House Flight Heart in Huntsville, Alabama. Picture credit score: NASA

The Robotic Deposition Know-how (RDT) crew, led out of NASA’s Marshall House Flight Heart in Huntsville, Alabama, is designing and manufacturing revolutionary and light-weight combustion chambers, nozzles, and injectors that can incorporate automated robotic deposition 3D-printing applied sciences: chilly spray deposition, laser wire direct closeout, laser powder mattress fusion, and laser powder directed vitality deposition. The purpose is to evolve these processes utilizing weight-optimized supplies to validate operability, efficiency, and reusability by way of scorching hearth testing.

The RDT challenge crew lately scorching hearth examined their light-weight combustion chamber and nozzle. Different {hardware} for this testing included injectors and carbon composite nozzles that have been lately examined below the Long Life Additive Manufacturing Assembly (LLAMA) challenge.

“Testing of the RDT Superior Lander Propulsion Additive Chilly-spray Meeting (ALPACA) chamber went very nicely and demonstrated a brand new know-how functionality for NASA and business companions,” mentioned Thomas W. Teasley, engineer at Marshall.

The {hardware} collected eight begins at 365.4 seconds of whole scorching hearth length. The principle combustion chamber skilled pressures as much as 750 pound-force per sq. inch (psi) for all exams performed in addition to calculated scorching gasoline temperatures approaching 6,200 levels Fahrenheit. Three totally different carbon composite nozzles designed for 7,000 kilos of thrust have been additionally examined and demonstrated their functionality to endure excessive setting circumstances with measured nozzle temperatures of greater than 4,000 levels Fahrenheit.

“The RDT ALPACA effort between NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne is one other instance of our collaboration and partnership in advancing additive manufacturing applied sciences,” mentioned Aerojet Rocketdyne Senior Engineer Bryan Webb.

RDT’s developments will profit future NASA and industrial house missions by offering extra light-weight and cost-efficient liquid rocket engine components as a substitute of conventional {hardware}, which is heavier and sometimes comprised of extra components.

RDT is funded by NASA’s Sport Altering Growth Program, which is part of NASA’s House Know-how Mission Directorate.




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By Clark