Printing parts on a 3D printer is used in rocket science
Russian companies are trying to catch up in recent years, and catch up with developed countries in space missions. The private company NSTR Rocket Technologies has designed and tested two innovative liquid engines for space flight. Some elements for these motors were made by printing parts on a 3D printer. The development became known from the press service of the organization. The project Manager, Nikolay Dzis-Voinarovsky, noted that his startup was the first among all non-state enterprises who could perform fire tests of a liquid-propellant engine for space flights produced with the help of 3D technologies.
Printing parts on a 3D printer helps the rocket industry
A few years before that, NSTR Rocket Technologies was the first domestic manufacturer that created and tested a liquid-fuel engine. This engine was subsequently used as a prototype for the next developments of the company - it is currently working on a project for super-light space vehicles that will put micro- and nano-satellites into orbit.
In January 2019, the NTRC experts successfully tested two more devices - a steering engine and combustion chambers for the rocket they created. Both devices use white spirit as fuel and nitric oxide for oxidation.
The mixing heads of the devices printed on a 3D printer using molybdenum, chromium and cobalt.
The general designer of the startup says that the liquid-propellant engines are a new type of engine that the company has created in the current year. Comparing with past developments, these products have significantly less weight and more endurance. Thus, these devices may in the future be used both for research activities in the laboratory and for mass production in order to launch spacecraft that are being prepared at the NSTR Rocket Technologies.
The test motor created in the company was cooled by the evaporation of a special protective layer covering the combustion chamber. The new technology uses a more modern, regenerative method. In addition, in both liquid-propellant engine, fewer elements are used, and they are produced much cheaper and faster.
When all designated tests are completed, the company promises to publish a full report and highlight the technical data of the motors.
Note that some time ago in the United States, the first 3D-printers are developed that are close to the mass models. Researchers explain that, until recently, printing parts on a 3D printer was too long to be effectively used in production. Therefore, scientists have developed a new technology of “one-piece printing”, which speeds up the whole process 100 times than with the use of layer-by-layer devices. Thus, one small enterprise does not need to order a hundred pieces of equipment at once - one printer will be enough.
Professor Mark Burns calls his development the first true 3D printer, bearing in mind that his device was as close as possible to efficient industrial use. It differs from conventional equipment in that the printing is not made in layers, but in a single tank using a special resin and the two rays of light.