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Hypersonic aircraft is not a dream: 3D printing engine through NASA test

2017/06/12

NASA's Orleit ATK, a US-based space manufacturing company, has successfully conducted wind tunnel tests on 3D-printed hypersonic engine combustors at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia.The picture above shows the concept of ultra-high-speed aircraft in the design software, the program is simulating its aerodynamic characteristics.

Orbital ATK says the combustion chamber of a scramjet engine is one of the most challenging parts of a propulsion system that accommodates and maintains a stable combustion in an extremely unstable environment. We may be able to see the application of this combustor in the future of ultra-high-speed aircraft - such as the future of NASA's unmanned ultra-high-speed aircraft X-43.

The test was conducted at the NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, which will help the hypersonic aircraft (at speeds of 5500 km, equivalent to 4.5 times the speed of sound).

In the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show, a "alien" metal materials made of 3D printing items attracted the attention of everyone. "Planetary Resources and 3D Systems" (Planetary Resources and 3D Systems) company made use of meteorite metal from Argentina made this model, they hope that the future can be applied to the construction of the colonies of Mars.

According to foreign media reports, less than an hour will be able to fly from New York to London, the dream is getting closer to reality, the US spacecraft Orbital ATK recently successful 3D print hypersonic The engine combustor was tested for wind tunnel.

The test was conducted at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. This breakthrough will help the hypersonic aircraft (speed of 5500 km, equivalent to 4.5 times the speed of sound) faster development success.The hypersonic engine combustion chamber for testing was made using "powder fusion" (PBF) technology.In the production process, a layer of alloy powder is "printed" out, and then according to the input machine in the computer program, the use of laser to fuse each area together. In the case of each layer of fusion, the second layer began to print until the entire product is completed.Any excess powder will be cleared, and then the product is polished.

The test was conducted at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia.This breakthrough will help the hypersonic aircraft (speed of 5500 km, equivalent to 4.5 times the speed of sound) faster development success.The hypersonic engine combustion chamber for testing was made using "powder fusion" (PBF) technology.In the production process, a layer of alloy powder is "printed" out, and then according to the input machine in the computer program, the use of laser to fuse each area together.In the case of each layer of fusion, the second layer began to print until the entire product is completed. Any excess powder will be cleared, and then the product is polished.

During more than 20 days of testing, the combustion chamber has successfully undergone a series of ultrahigh-speed flight conditions, including the longest time to promote a wind tunnel test. Orbital ATK says the combustion chamber of a scramjet engine is one of the most challenging parts of a propulsion system that accommodates and maintains a stable combustion in an extremely unstable environment. These tests are designed to ensure that the "powder melted" technology is made of a sufficiently strong component that can be used on ultra high sonic aircraft.

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