Aerojet Rocketdyne Successfully Tested 3D Printed Rocket Engine
A series of hot-fire trial runs has been completed during the Bantam demonstration engine developed completely using additive manufacturing by Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorpcompany. The trial runs were a most important step in creating a more profitable set of engines for booster, upper-stage and in-space propulsion. Jay Littles, manager of Advanced Launch Propulsion Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne, mentioned that the exposition of the machine developed absolutely using additive manufacturing is going to become an important event on the way to changing the propulsion affordability. They are not only making free-running hatches or injectors obtained with the usual technologies. Instead they are consolidating all the capabilities of the process of additive manufacturing to advance a reliable and profitable design. They do that with technical thoroughness and precision in order to meet all the safety requirements.
Normally engines comprise lots of parts; this type of engine has just three additive-manufactured constituents: the whole injector and dome assembly, throat-and-nozzle section and the combustion chamber. This kerosene/oxygen engine known as “Baby Bantam” (because of being at the lowest end of the entire engine family) has a 5000 pounds thrust. The whole Bantam engine family may have up to 200000 pounds’ thrust and may be suitable for different types of fuel including ethanol, kerosene and storable propellants.
This family of engines is adapted to the Atlas Sustainer engine design to get all the advantage of the possibilities of 3d printing technologies. The team managed to lessen the time for development and manufacturing to a few months (instead of a year) and to reduce total costs of engines by about 65 percent. The trial run of the engine was part of the many years of efforts in the additive manufacturing development by Aerojet Rocketdyne that has shown successful development evolution of design tools and component fabrication and hot-fire tests.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is widely recognized as the leader that provides energetic and propulsion to space, strategic and missile defense systems to support both international and domestic markets. GenCorp is a manifold company that comes up with rationalization solutions that are appreciated by consumers in defense and aerospace and real estate markets.