Aerojet Rocketdyne

OEM : Aerospace

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El Segundo, California, United States

NYSE: AJRD

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-class developer and manufacturer of advanced propulsion and energetics systems for customers including the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and other agencies and companies, both in the United States and abroad. Our markets include space, where we provide a full range of propulsion and power systems for launch vehicles, satellites and other space vehicles; strategic missiles; missile defense; and tactical systems and armaments. Our propulsion systems, both liquid- and solid-fueled, have been at the heart of virtually every major U.S. space and missile program since the dawn of the space age. All of our products are manufactured at ISO 9001/AS 9100-certified facilities around the country.

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Additive for Aerospace: Welcome to the New Frontier

Date:

Author: Kip Hanson

Topics: additive manufacturing, nondestructive test

Vertical: Aerospace, Defense

Organizations: Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA, Northrop Grumman

Gao, a tech fellow and AM technical lead at Aerojet Rocketdyne, is particularly interested in the 3D printing of heat-resistant superalloys (HRSAs) and a special group of elements known as refractory metals. The first of these enjoy broad use in gas turbines and rocket engines, but it’s the latter that offers the greatest potential for changing the speed and manner in which humans propel aircraft, spacecraft, and weaponry from Point A to Point B.

“When you print these materials, they typically become both stronger and harder than their wrought or forged equivalents,” he said. “The laser promotes the creation of a supersaturated solid solution with fantastic properties, ones that cannot be achieved otherwise. When you combine this with AM’s ability to generate shapes that were previously impossible to manufacture, it presents some very exciting possibilities for the aerospace industry.”

Eric Barnes, a fellow of advanced and additive manufacturing at Northrop Grumman, says “Northrop Grumman and its customers are now in a position to more readily adopt additive manufacturing and prepare to enter that plateau of productivity because we have spent the past few years collecting the required data and generating the statistical information needed to ensure long term use of additive manufacturing in an aeronautical environment… In the future, you may be able to eliminate NDT completely. Comprehensive build data will also serve to reduce qualification timelines, and if you’re able to understand all that’s going on inside the build chamber in real-time, machine learning and AI systems might be able to adjust process parameters such that you never have a bad part.”

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