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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Manufacturing Advanced Channel Wall Rocket Liners

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Manufacturing Advanced Channel Wall Rocket Liners

Liquid rocket developers have identified advanced engine concepts that are not feasible due to manufacture due to limitations in currently available technologies. Specifically, engine developers are in need of a manufacturing technology that is capable of generating cooling channels in liquid rocket nozzles and combustion chambers at low cost, while supporting increasingly complex designs (see appended letter of support from Aerojet Rocketdyne). This Phase II project will result in a reduced cost flexible technology that is ready to support the development and fabrication of advanced channel wall rocket liners and combustors. This will be achieved by adapting a novel manufacturing technology that can machine delicate and complex features in metals and ceramics. This technology was demonstrated to be feasible to support the advancement of channel rocket design by making more complex designs manufacturable while reducing lead time and manufacturing cost. It was shown to reduce machine time by 90% when compared to milling the same cooling channels in stainless steel. Advancing engine performance can be achieved through more optimal combustor and liner cooling, however engine designers are currently limited in what can be designed due to current technology slitting saw or end mill capabilities. The proposed technology overcomes this limitation and supports the design and fabrication of highly complex and delicate features. It can easily be scaled up to support SSME class engines. At the end of Phase II, this technology will be ready to support the development of and production of channel wall rockets that incorporate more complex cooling features than are currently feasible to manufacture. The technology will made more user friendly and efficient to implement, and a manufacturing workstation layout and cost will be developed to support both small and SSME class engines.

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