Webinar: Additively Manufactured Rocket Engine

June 10, 2021 | Gina Naujokat

Microlaunchers are an alternative to conventional launch vehicles. They are designed to launch small satellites into space. Fraunhofer IWS and the TU in Dresden developed an additively manufactured rocket engine.

The industrial computed tomography (CT) is the most efficient technology for non-destructive testing (NDT) when additive manufactured (3D printed) structures are to be examined. The dataset obtained from a CT scan allows researchers to examine additive parts without deterioration and to draw conclusions on the printing process, specific parameters and material properties.

In the webinar you can learn more about how CT supports the evolvement of new designs and functionalities that are only available with additive manufacturing.

Microlaunchers are an alternative to conventional launch vehicles. Able to carry payloads of up to 350 kilograms, these midsized transport systems are designed to launch small satellites into space. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IWS and the TU in Dresden developed an additively manufactured rocket engine with an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers. The scaled metal prototype is expected to consume 30 percent less fuel than conventional engines on the way to orbit.

Dr. Elena Lopez from Fraunhofer IWS explains in this webinar the advantages of laser powder bed fusion in building this part that is difficult to produce with conventional casting or milling technology. Particularly the labyrinth of inner cooling ducts was a challenge that the researchers at Fraunhofer IWS successfully solved using post-processing and NDT.

At the end of the session Dr. Lopez answers questions of the interested audience.

You can download the complete article, published in Aerospace Testing International here.

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