Currently, the only permanent valve qualified for spaceflight in the aerospace industry is the pyrovalve. The pyrovalve uses redundant pyrotechnic chargers called NASA Standard Initiators (NSI) for actuation. The charges rupture a parent metal seal, permanently opening the valve. Due to the flammability of most storable propellant, valve failure may result in unintended combustion and lead to catastrophic failure of the spacecraft. Therefore, the reliability of the component is crucial. Past NASA mission have had issues with pyrovalve failure during qualification testing, which adds significant cost to the procurement of the component. In addition to the failures, it is desirable to maintain multiple sources for component competition, though only one vendor exists for these valves.
Maturing any AM produce spacecraft propulsion component has great benefits for the entire industry. This project would assist the effort of legitimizing AM components for the industry, demostrating its capabilities of providing fully-functional, low-cost, state-of-the-art components.The obvious benefit of AM or DMLS compared to conventional machining is its ability to produce the complex components that make the valve functionally possible and far simpler and cheaper to produce, i.e. curved internal flow paths, nested internal features, and integrated parts compared to multiple parts for conventional machining. The cost of the components that are manufacturable with conventional techniques is well over when considering the raw material and machining costs, compared to near waistless AM produced equivalent. This AM cost drops further when additional units are printed simultaneously, whereas the conventional machining cost per unit does not change with the order quantity.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Greenbelt, Maryland|