The Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) of metal parts regroups different kind of processes such as the Laser Beam Melting and Laser Metal Deposition. These two processes are used by ArianeGroup for the manufacturing of parts in the objectives to decrease the cost. Another advantage of the ALM processes is the reduction of the developing cycle. Also, ALM allows making parts with complex geometry that can’t be made by traditional processes. This freedom given to the designers allows to obtain more compact parts and to optimize the mass of them.
The project called Prometheus is particularly interested by these two advantages in the objective to develop a new rocket engine with a low recurrent cost and with a short developing time. To achieve these objectives, the project will use massively the ALM for the development and production of the parts.
In the scope of Prometheus, several prototypes of parts from the different subsystems (Turbopump / Gas generator / Valves) have been printed. Parts with different kind of geometry has been made (such as housing, blisk,…) on two types of machine regarding the size of each part (EOS M290 or M400). This study shows that the problematics encountered during the lasing for the different kind of geometry are very different and have a big influence on the post operations that are necessary to do after lasing.
- Look at the interest of ALM technology for cost reduction.
- Look at the interest of ALM technology for decreasing of development cycle.