News Karnataka
Monday, June 17 2024
Delhi

ISRO Achieves Milestone with 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Test

Photo Credit : Twitter

The space agency announced on Friday that ISRO had successfully completed a long-duration test of its PS4 engine, which was redesigned for production using state-of-the-art additive manufacturing (AM) techniques, popularly known as 3D printing. The engine was manufactured in India.
According to ISRO, the new engine, which is now a single piece, saves 97% of raw materials and 60% of production time.

According to a release from the space agency, ISRO successfully completed a major milestone on May 9 by hot testing a liquid rocket engine made using additive manufacturing technology for a duration of 665 seconds.

The engine used is the PS4 engine of PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) upper stage.

The PS4 engine manufactured in the conventional machining and welding route has been in use for the fourth stage of PSLV which has a thrust of 7.33 kN in vacuum condition. The same engine is also used in the Reaction Control System (RCS) of the first stage (PS1) of PSLV, the release said.

The engine uses the earth-storable bipropellant combinations of Nitrogen Tetroxide as oxidiser and Mono Methyl Hydrazine as fuel in pressure-fed mode. It was developed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).

LPSC redesigned the engine making it amenable to the Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) concept thereby gaining considerable advantages.

The Laser Powder Bed Fusion technique employed has brought down the number of parts from 14 to a single-piece, and eliminated 19 weld joints, saving significantly on the raw material usage per engine (13.7 kg of metal powder compared to the 565 kg of forgings and sheets for conventional manufacturing process) and reduced 60 per cent in the overall production time, the ISRO release said.

The manufacturing of the engine was done in Indian industry (M/s WIPRO 3D), and the engine was hot tested at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.

The engine’s injector head was realized and successfully hot tested earlier as part of the development program. To build confidence for the hot test, ISRO stated that thorough structural modeling, flow and thermal modeling, and cold flow characterization of the prototype hardware were completed.

As a result, the engine performance parameters were validated through four successful developmental hot tests of the integrated engine, totaling 74 seconds.

Additionally, the engine was successfully tested for 665 seconds, the entire qualification period, and it was found that all performance parameters were within expectations. According to ISRO, this AM PS4 engine will be incorporated into the regular PSLV program.

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