A One-piece Liquid Rocket Thrust Chamber Assembly
The one-piece multi-metallic composite overwrap thrust chamber assembly is centrally composed of an additively manufactured integral-channeled copper combustion chamber. The central chamber is being manufactured using a GRCop42 or GRCop84 copper-alloy additive manufacturing technology previously developed by NASA. A bimetallic joint (interface) is then built onto the nozzle end of the chamber using bimetallic additive manufacturing techniques. The result is a strong bond between the chamber and the interface with proper diffusion at the nozzle end of the copper-alloy. The bimetallic interface serves as the foundation of a freeform regen nozzle. A blown powder-based directed energy deposition process (DED) is used to build the regen nozzle with integral channels for coolant flow. The coolant circuits are closed with an integral manifold added using a radial cladding operation. To complete the TCA, the entire assembly including the combustion chamber and regen nozzle is wrapped with a composite overwrap capable of sustaining the required pressure and temperature loads.
mechanical and fluid systems
Additively Manufactured Oscillating Heat Pipe for High Performance Cooling in High Temperature Applications
The advent of additive manufacturing makes available new and innovative integrated thermal management systems, including integrating an oscillating Heat Pipe (OHP) into the leading edge of a hypersonic vehicle for rapid dissipation of large quantities of heat. OHPs have interconnected capillary channels filled with a working fluid that forms a train of liquid plugs and vapor bubbles to facilitate rapid heat transfer. Multiple additive manufacturing techniques may be used, including powder bed fusion, binder jetting, metal material extrusion, directed energy deposit, sheet lamination, ultrasonic, and electrochemical techniques. These high performance OHPs can be made with materials such as Refractory High Entropy Alloys (RHEAs) that can withstand high temperature applications. The structure of the OHP can be integrated into the constructed leading edge. The benefits include a heat transport capacity of 10 to 100 times greater than before. Integrated OHPs avoid the bends or welds in traditional heat pipes, especially at the locations where the highest thermal stresses might cause thermal-structural failure of a leading edge. Alternating the diameters of the OHP channels alleviate start-up issues typically found in liquid metal oscillating heat pipe designs in high temperature applications by aiding in the instigation of a circulating flow due to multiple forces acting upon the working fluid.