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3D printed mold helps NASA keep space launch system warm

NASA engineers and engineers have certified 3D printing technology to help create customized thermal protection systems for space launch systems. The new Deep Space Rocket should be able to withstand extreme conditions and temperatures when launching NASA's Orion spacecraft and loading 3D cargo into the moon's orbit.

The process of applying thermal protection to space launch systems and other rockets of this type is usually made up of traditional insulation that surrounds the spray foam and components of the rocket. This material helps to protect the rocket from heat during firing and at the same time keeps the propellant of the rocket cool in the tank.

However, while this method is suitable for larger parts, the smallest and most complex hardware of the rocket is difficult to heat protect. In addition to manually injecting screws onto small parts, NASA engineers have found that 3D printed molds provide a suitable solution for protecting internal engine ducts and other inaccessible parts.

NASA 3D mold space launch system
NASA and Boeing have completed the majority of the SLS core stage engines.

A simple, yet effective technique consists of 3D printing of a mold corresponding to the space around a given assembly, then pouring the liquid foam into the mold to fully inflate and fit the part perfectly. According to NASA, this approach greatly reduces overall processing time by reducing the need for time-consuming post-process trimming.

In the process of validating the process, NASA worked with Boeing engineers to perform extensive form tests. As a result of these initial tests, the team can focus more time on the critical requirements for each flying foam application by creating more sophisticated processes by reducing the time required to authenticate 3D printed molds.

Boeing is a major space contractor for NASA's Space Launch System and a deep space rocket, coupled with Orion, expected to transport astronauts to the moon by 2024. "Our backbone for space exploration is SLS and Orion, NASA's Kennedy Space Center headed for the gateway to the moon orbit." The astronauts ultimately We will use a human lunar landing system. "

Last week, NASA successfully tested a 2,400 lbf 3D printed copper rocket thrust chamber with multiple overlaps. This test demonstrated the possibility of combining advanced printing technologies with advanced 3D technology to produce thrust chamber assemblies for liquid rocket engines.

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