NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Hybrid Additive Manufacturing Deposition and Selective Laser Melting Techniques Applied to Copper-Alloy Liquid Rocket Engine Combustion Chambers Virgin Orbit and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center have partnered to fabricate a small, multi-metallic, regeneratively cooled thrust chamber by leveraging the strengths of two different types of additive manufacturing: Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) for the copper alloy liner and blown powder Directed Energy Deposition (DED) for the Inconel structural jacket. The DED is being developed using Virgin Orbit's DMG Mori Seiki hybrid additive/subtractive machining center to further enable unique processing and further cost savings. The materials chosen are preferred for high performance thrust chamber applications, representing a significant advancement from the compromises typically made in the production of metal 3D printed thrust chambers for rocket engines. The 1.2K-lbf thrust article is a 16" tall, 3" diameter design modified for this effort to be regeneratively cooled with water and hot fired using a RP-1/LOX pintle-style development injector from Virgin Orbit's NewtonFour upper stage engine. The thrust chamber was tested at Virgin Orbit's Necker test site in Mojave, California. Results from this test campaign are reported in addition to information characterizing the liner, jacket, and bimetallic diffusion layer materials. This paper will also highlight some of the future bimetallic thrust chamber developments that MSFC and Virgin Orbit will complete under a recently awarded NASA contract.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Zagorski, Kevin
(Virgin Orbit Long Beach, CA, United States)
Duggleby, Andrew
(Virgin Orbit Long Beach, CA, United States)
Doshi, Vishal
(Virgin Orbit Long Beach, CA, United States)
Gradl, Paul
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2018
Publication Date
May 21, 2018
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Liquid Propulsion Subcommittee (LPS)
Location: Long Beach, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: May 21, 2018
End Date: May 24, 2018
Sponsors: Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Navy
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available