3D-printed rocket injector passed tests at a temperature of 3000 degrees Celsius
Not so long ago, NASA already talked about its successes in the manufacture of important parts for spacecraft engines using the laser sintering method. The technology is gradually being improved, and engineers are getting more reliable and sophisticated engine parts.
So, the other day rocket injectors were tested, which were tested at a very high temperature: about 3300 degrees Celsius. Liquid oxygen and hydrogen gas were mixed in the injector, as a result of which a draft of 9 tons developed.
The rocket injector is one of the most difficult parts in the production of a rocket engine, so the manufacture of this element using laser sintering significantly reduces the cost of the process. By the way, the tested element is equal in size to the ordinary injector of a small rocket, and the design of the new injector is similar to the design of injectors of large engines (for example, for the largest RS-25 engine).
The traditional manufacturing process for such injectors requires the creation of an entire system of 163 individual parts. And 3D technology reduces the number of elements to two, which, of course, reduces the time and money spent on the production of such injectors and engines in general.
The tests were carried out for two injectors, each of which was manufactured by a private company by order of NASA. One of the injectors is manufactured by Solid Concepts, the other is Directed Manufacturing. According to the developers, the new technology allows you to speed up the process of creating a reliable engine for a new type of missile, without the need to use tens and hundreds of parts for one injector.