Jul 23, 2013
Comments Off on Additive Manufacturing undergoes hot fire testing at NASA

Additive Manufacturing undergoes hot fire testing at NASA

A strong supporter of Additive Manufacturing technologies, NASA has long recognized the potential of this technology to significantly reduce the production time and costs not only within the aerospace industry but across a wide range of industries.

A recent partnership between NASA and provider of propulsion and energetics to the space sector Aerojet Rocketdyne may have brought Additive Manufacturing technologies one step closer to use in full scale production of critical aerospace components.

Suitability testing took the form of hot fire testing where a rocket injector assembly underwent a series of firings of a liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen. This injector component forms the heart of a rocket engine representing a lions share of the overall cost of rocket engine systems. Using traditional manufacturing techniques the injector would take more than a year to produce however the use of Additive Manufacturing tecnologies cuts this lead time to less than 4 months and reduces cost of production by 70%.

The successful completion of testing has marked a significant boost for additive manufacturing for use in rocket engines, with Carol Tolbert, manager of the Manufacturing Innovation Project at NASA Glenn Research Centre, stating ‘these successful tests let us know that we are ready to move on to demonstrate the feasibility of developing full-size, additively manufactured parts’

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