The component tested during the engine firing, an injector, delivers propellants to power an engine and provides the thrust necessary to send rockets to space.
During the injector test, liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen passed through the component into a combustion chamber and produced 10 times more thrust than any injector previously fabricated using 3-D printing.
Chris Singer, director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said that this successful test of a 3-D printed rocket injector brings NASA significantly closer to proving this innovative technology can be used to reduce the cost of flight hardware.
The component was manufactured using selective laser melting.
Early data from the test, conducted at pressures up to 1,400 pounds per square inch in a vacuum and at almost 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, indicate the injector worked flawlessly. In the days to come, engineers will perform computer scans and other inspections to scrutinize the component more closely.
The injector was made by Directed Manufacturing Inc., of Austin, Texas, but NASA owns the injector design.
--ANI (Posted on 28-08-2013)