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Lightweight Thrust Chamber Assemblies using Multi-Alloy Additive Manufacturing and Composite OverwrapAdditive Manufacturing (AM) has brought significant design and fabrication opportunities for complex components with internal features such as liquid rocket engine thrust chambers not previously possible. This technology allows for significant cost savings and schedule reductions in addition to new performance optimization through weight reduction and increased margins. Specific to regeneratively-cooled combustion chambers and nozzles for liquid rocket engines, additive manufacturing offers the ability to form the complex internal coolant channels and the closeout of the channels to contain the high pressure liquid propellants with a single operation. Much of additive manufacturing development has focused on monolithic alloys using Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF), which do not allow for complete optimization of the structure. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) completed feasibility of an AM bimetallic L-PBF GRCop-84 copper-alloy combustion chamber with an AM electron beam freeform Inconel 625 structural jacket under the Low Cost Upper Stage Propulsion (LCUSP) Project. A follow-on project called Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology (RAMPT) is under development to further expand large-scale multi-alloy thrust chambers while maturing composite overwrap technology for significant weight savings opportunities. The RAMPT project has three primary objectives: 1) Advancing blown powder Directed Energy Deposition (DED) to fabricate integral-channel large scale nozzles, 2) Develop composite overwrap technology to reduce weight and provide structural capability for thrust chamber assemblies, and 3) Develop bimetallic and multi-metallic additively manufactured radial and axial joints to optimize material performance. In addition to these primary manufacturing developments, analytical modeling efforts compliment the process development to simulate the AM processes to reduce build failures and distortions. The RAMPT project is also maturing the supply chain for various manufacturing processes described above in addition to L-PBF of GRCop-42. This paper will present an overview of the RAMPT project, the process development and hardware progress to date, material and hot-fire testing results, along with future developments.
Document ID
20205004830
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Paul R Gradl (Marshall Space Flight Center Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, United States)
Christopher S Protz (Marshall Space Flight Center Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, United States)
John C Fikes (Marshall Space Flight Center Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, United States)
Allison Marie Clark (Marshall Space Flight Center Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, United States)
Laura J Evans (Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Sandi G Miller (Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
David L Ellis (Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Tyler B Hudson (Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia, United States)
Date Acquired
July 21, 2020
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Meeting Information
AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum 2020(Virtual)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 228556.04.22.62
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
NASA Peer Committee
Keywords
Additive Manufacturing
AM
L-PBF
DED
Blown Powder Directed Energy Deposition
Directed Energy Deposition
Laser Powder Bed Fusion
GRCop-42
GRCop-84
LCUSP
RAMPT
Rapid Analysis and Manufacturing Propulsion Technology
Thrust Chamber Assembly
TCA
Low Cost Upper Stage Propulsion
Metal Additive Manufacturing
Propulsion
Liquid Rocket Engines

Available Downloads

NameType AIAA RAMPT Multimetallic Composite Chambers-FINAL 7-22-2020.pdf STI