Breakthrough: ISRO successfully tests 3D Printed rocket engine

Breakthrough: ISRO successfully tests 3D Printed rocket engine

ISRO conducts successful test of PS4 engine, redesigned using 3D printing techniques.

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India’s space agency, ISRO, has accomplished a significant feat by testing its PS4 engine, redesigned with advanced 3D printing technology.

This new method, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), allows the creation of intricate designs in a single piece. ISRO revealed that this innovation dramatically reduces raw material usage by 97% and slashes production time by 60%.

The test, conducted on May 9, involved running a liquid rocket engine for an impressive 665 seconds. This engine is crucial for the upper stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), a vital component in India’s space missions. Traditionally, the engine was built using machining and welding processes. However, ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) revamped the design to exploit the benefits of additive manufacturing.

By employing the Laser Powder Bed Fusion technique, ISRO transformed the engine into a single piece, eliminating the need for 14 parts and 19 weld joints. This not only reduces raw material consumption but also streamlines production. The entire manufacturing process, carried out by the Indian industry (M/s WIPRO 3D), was validated through rigorous testing at the ISRO Propulsion Complex in Tamil Nadu.

ISRO’s successful hot tests, totalling 74 seconds, validated the engine’s performance parameters. Subsequently, the engine underwent a full qualification test of 665 seconds, confirming its reliability. The agency plans to integrate this advanced engine into its regular PSLV program, marking a significant stride in India’s space exploration endeavours.