NASA achieves aerospace 3-D printing milestone with assist from Glenn Research Center

Inside the combustion chamber

Inside the combustion chamber, propellant burns at more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent melting, hydrogen at temperatures less than 100 degrees above absolute zero circulates in more than 200 intricately carved cooling channels Cooling inlets are visible along the top rim of the chamber. Credits: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

NASA has achieved “a milestone for aerospace 3-D printing,” with help from a copper alloy developed at NASA Glenn Research Center, according to a news release from the space agency.

NASA used a 3-D printer to build a rocket engine liner that should be able to endure extreme heat and cold.

Ridiculously extreme: The inside of the liner is designed to withstand temperatures exceeding 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit; meanwhile, it will be cooled with gases in the -280 degree range, the release stated.

That looks good on paper, but will it be able to take that kind of punishment this summer, when it is put to the test at NASA’s Langley Research Center? There’s no way to be sure, but Glenn researchers studied the new GRCo-84 alloy extensively to make sure it could be used to build quality parts when printed in layers, by a 3-D printer, the release stated.

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*Source: CrainsCleveland.com

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