ISRO Conducts Successful Test of Indigenous 3D-Printed Rocket Engine.

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ISRO’s Milestone: Successful Test of Indigenous 3D-Printed Rocket Engine

The successful testing of a liquid rocket engine made with additive manufacturing technology on Thursday marked a key milestone for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). With a duration of 665 seconds, this innovative test used the PS4 engine from the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket, which is known as the ‘Workhorse of ISRO’ due to its reliable performance in launching satellites into Low-Earth Orbits.

This revolutionary rocket engine was made possible in large part by additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. Modern propulsion systems for space travel are being developed thanks in part to this new manufacturing technology, which makes complex components more precisely and efficiently produced.

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The test’s success confirms ISRO’s dedication to developing domestic technology and lowering reliance on foreign parts. ISRO wants to optimize production costs and schedules while improving the performance and dependability of its launch vehicles through the use of additive manufacturing.

The PS4 engine is an essential component of the PSLV rocket’s upper stage and is responsible for launching payloads into their assigned orbits. The fact that it passed testing successfully confirms ISRO’s capacity to innovate and create high-performance propulsion systems that are suited to certain mission needs.

This accomplishment is a major step forward for India’s space program and demonstrates ISRO’s ability to use cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to achieve unprecedented success in the country’s space pursuits. India’s space exploration voyage enters a new era marked by technological innovation and self-reliance, thanks to the successful testing of the 3D-printed rocket engine.

ISRO’s Advanced PS4 Engine: Powering India’s Space Ambitions

With the use of additive manufacturing technology, the PS4 engine—a vital part of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)—has experienced a revolutionary change. With a vacuum thrust of 7.33 kN, this engine—which is typically made by machining and welding—is essential for precisely launching payloads into their assigned orbits aboard the PSLV. From launching satellites to carrying out interplanetary missions, ISRO is depending more and more on the PSLV as a dependable orbital platform.

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The PS4 engine was created by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), and it currently uses additive manufacturing to improve performance and efficiency. This state-of-the-art manufacturing technique makes it possible to precisely and lightweightly fabricate intricate engine components, increasing the engine’s overall performance in space missions.

The PS4 engine’s adaptability goes beyond its use in the PSLV’s fourth stage. It also plays a critical role in the PSLV’s first stage (PS1) reaction control system. Powered by earth-storable bipropellant combinations (fuel: monomethyl hydrazine; oxidizer: nitrogen tetroxide), the engine runs in pressure-fed mode to provide maximum performance and dependability during mission-critical maneuvers.

Advantages of ISRO 3D Printing Engines

In order to completely transform the design and manufacturing of rocket engines, especially the PS4 engine, ISRO has embraced Laser Powder Bed Fusion technology. Comparing this novel approach to traditional manufacturing techniques reveals numerous significant benefits.

Consolidating several engine components into a single piece of construction is one major advantage. ISRO has improved reliability and efficiency by streamlining the production process and doing away with the requirement for assembly by simplifying the engine design.

Additionally, ISRO was able to reduce 19 weld joints in the new engine design thanks to the usage of 3D printing. Eliminating weld joints enhances overall structural integrity and lowers the chance of failure during operation. Weld joints are possible weak areas in the structure.

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The significant decrease in the amount of raw materials used for each engine is another noteworthy benefit. Traditional production techniques like sheet metal fabrication and forging call for large quantities of materials and metal powder. By using 3D printing, ISRO has reduced wastage from raw materials, maximized resource use, and cut manufacturing costs.

In particular, the shift to additive manufacturing has resulted in a modest 565 kg of forgings and sheets being used instead of the previous 13.7 kg of metal powder. This indicates a notable decrease in the amount of material used, which helps save money and save the environment.

In conclusion, ISRO’s use of 3D printing in engine production presents a revolutionary strategy that improves efficacy, dependability, and affordability. Through the utilization of cutting-edge technologies, ISRO persistently pushes the limits of space exploration, showcasing its dedication to sustainability and technical progress. Moreover, the overall production time has been slashed by 60 per cent due to this redesign.

An impressive feat of indigenous aerospace technology, a “Made-in-India” 3D-printed rocket engine was created by WIPRO 3D, a division of the well-known company Wipro. WIPRO 3D was established in 2012 and is a leading provider of metal additive manufacturing solutions and services, contributing significantly to the advancement of aerospace engineering capabilities in India.

At the ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri, the engine underwent extensive testing to demonstrate its operational deployment readiness. An important step has been accomplished with the successful hot test, opening the door for integration into ISRO’s regular Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) program.

WIPRO 3D has transformed the manufacturing of rocket engines by utilizing additive manufacturing technology, which offers improved performance and efficiency while lowering manufacturing complexity. This novel method reduces possible points of failure and eliminates the need for assembly by enabling the manufacture of complex engine components in a single-piece design.

The partnership between ISRO and WIPRO 3D demonstrates India’s dedication to supporting domestic technological advancement in the aerospace industry. By incorporating “Made-in-India” 3D-printed rocket engines into its launch vehicle program, ISRO is demonstrating its commitment to innovation and self-sufficiency while lowering its reliance on foreign parts and technology.

As these cutting-edge rocket engines are put into service, ISRO’s launch capabilities will be improved, making it possible to send satellites into orbit more quickly and affordably. This accomplishment highlights the promise of additive manufacturing to transform the aerospace sector and underlines India’s leadership in space technology globally.

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