NASA Tests Provide Rare Opportunity to Get 3-D Printed Part Comparison Data

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The gas generator to an F-1 engine is test-fired this Sep during NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Although a engine was creatively built to energy a Saturn V rockets during America's missions to a moon, this exam essay had new tools combined regulating addition manufacturing, or 3-D printing, to exam a viability of a record for building new engine designs. Credits: NASA

The gas generator to an F-1 engine is test-fired this Sep during NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Although a engine was creatively built to energy a Saturn V rockets during America’s missions to a moon, this exam essay had new tools combined regulating addition manufacturing, or 3-D printing, to exam a viability of a record for building new engine designs.
Credits: NASA

A pivotal partial of a F-1 engine — a rocket engine that propelled a Saturn V and sent group to Moon — only finished a array of tests that will yield new information for today’s rocket engine designers. While this rocket engine member is not now being flown, engineers were means to exam a 1960’s epoch rocket engine part, a gas generator, in 2013, and afterwards make one with addition production and exam it on a same mount – giving NASA engineers a approach one-to-one comparison of a pivotal rocket component.

“This exam gave NASA a singular event to exam a 3-D printed rocket engine part, an engine partial for that we have lots of data, including a exam finished 3 years ago with complicated instrumentation,” pronounced Chris Protz. “This adds to a database we are formulating by contrast injectors, turbo pumps and other 3-D printed rocket engine tools of seductiveness to both NASA and industry.”

Additive production layers lead powders to form engine parts, though most is still different about a ability to furnish rocket engine tools arguable adequate for use on launch vehicles carrying humans. Over a final few years, NASA engineers have built and tested a accumulation of formidable rocket components made with 3-D copy processes. The partial put to a exam in this sold series, a gas generator, reserve energy to fuel siphon to broach diesel to a engine.

The gas generator produces around 30,000 pounds of bearing and was dismissed adult on a same exam stands during NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama where Protz and his group tested a selected F-1 gas generator in 2013. New cutting-edge instruments on a mount totalled opening and explosion properties, providing engineers with new information on aged hardware. The gas generator tests concede a approach comparison of a F-1 engine member built with normal production — welding and forging — to a identical F-1 engine member with tools built with addition manufacturing.

NASA conducted this exam array for Dynetics in Huntsville and a partner Aerojet Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California, who built a gas generator and is examining destiny technologies and their qualification to destiny thrust systems.

The formula from these tests of a 3-D printed F-1 gas generator adds some-more information to assistance NASA and a aerospace attention revoke a risks compared with regulating 3-D copy to make destiny engine parts, generally for destiny versions of booster like NASA’s new Space Launch System.

The Space Launch System will yield an wholly new capability for tellurian exploration, with a initial chronicle of a rocket, referred to as Block 1, able of rising 70 metric tons to low-Earth orbit. This initial pattern will be powered by twin boosters and 4 RS-25 engines. The subsequent designed expansion of a SLS, Block 1B, would use a some-more absolute scrutiny top theatre to capacitate some-more desirous missions with a 105-metric-ton lift capacity.

Ultimately, a after evolution, Block 2, will supplement a span of modernized plain or glass diesel boosters to yield an rare 130-metric-ton lift capability to capacitate missions even over into a solar system, including Mars.

“NASA is exploring many technologies to raise a Space Launch System as it evolves for use in a accumulation of missions,” pronounced Sam Stephens, SLS Advanced Development Task Lead during Marshall, where a SLS Program is managed. “If it proves to be a viable option, addition production might assistance us build destiny thrust systems. With this testing, NASA is assisting a village and a nation’s aerospace companies stay during a forefront of modernized technologies.”

Additive production is one of many technologies that could assistance yield affordable thrust systems for a rocket that will take humans on a tour to Mars. This addition production exam plan is one of many projects from attention and academia SLS is appropriation to surprise innovative and affordable solutions to develop a launch car from a initial pattern to a full lift ability able of promulgation humans over into low space than ever before.

Source: NASA