The single-piece rocket propulsion engine designed by CellCore, combining the injector and thrust chamber, reduces numerous individual components into one, with multi-functional lightweight construction achievable only with the selective laser melting process.

 

Filigree Structural Cooling to Increase Efficiency

The internal structure developed by CellCore is the fundamental element of the engine and cannot be manufactured by traditional methods. It is not only suited to heat transport, but also improves the structural stability of the component. The cooling properties of the CellCore design considerably outperform conventional approaches, such as right- angled, concentrically running cooling ducts. It offers an optimized relationship between stability and mass application and exhibits low current resistance with a simultaneously high reaction surface, making it more efficient while integrates additional functions and also reducing weight compared to conventionally manufactured components.

 

What did SLM Solutions do?

SLM Solutions collaborated with CellCore in the preparation of this highly complex component in order to ensure success by optimizing the selective laser melting process. SLM Solutions customer success team developed specific parameters for the geometry, focusing on downskin optimization. Build plate orientation was recommended after consultation with the SLM Solutions’application engineering team and critical sections of the part were identified for test-builds to guarantee success of the manufacturing job. To satisfy the aerospace industry’s high material requirements, the engine was manufactured in the nickel superalloy IN718 on the SLM®280 selective laser melting machine.

 

Conclusion

Despite its complex structure, postprocessing is minimized, thus avoiding high levels of tool wear. SLM® technology saves considerable costs by reducing expensive, time- consuming manufacturing steps and simplifying the engine‘s structure. Selective laser melting offers aerospace companies the opportunity to increase their competitive position by increasing rocket system functionality whilst maintaining exceptional quality, as well as lightweighting and drastically reducing development, testing and production timeframes.

  • Innovation: Direct integration of multiple parts and internal features, e.g. internal ducts
  • Improved function:  Cooling due to innovative lattice structure, which also increases stability
  • Efficiency:  Minimization of individual process steps while combining multiple individual parts into one component; production time reduced from months to days
  • Lightweight construction: Considerable weight reduction due to lattice structures
  • Simple manufacturing:  Minimal postprocessing despite complex structure and avoidance of high levels of tool wear due to difficult to machine nickel-based alloy (IN718)

 

HOW CAN THE SLM SOLUTIONS TEAM SUPPORT YOUR PROJECT?

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