24 June 2014
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, said it has completed a series of hot-fire tests on a Bantam demonstration engine built entirely with additive manufacturing.
The tests were a key step in the development of a more cost-effective engine family for booster, upper-stage and in-space propulsion.
“The demonstration of this engine, made completely with additive manufacturing, is another significant milestone in our path to changing propulsion affordability,” said Jay Littles, director of advanced launch propulsion programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “We are not just making a stand-alone chamber or injector derived from traditional design approaches. Rather, we are integrating the full capability of additive manufacturing processes to evolve a proven, reliable, affordable design. We are doing so with technical depth and rigor to meet our unparalleled quality and safety requirements.”
The engine, which is normally comprised of dozens of parts, consisted of only three additive-manufactured components: the entire injector and dome assembly; the combustion chamber; and a throat and nozzle section. This particular liquid oxygen/kerosene engine, dubbed “Baby Bantam” (because it is at the lower end of the Bantam engine family thrust range), has a thrust of 5,000 pounds. The Bantam engine family extends up to 200,000 pounds of thrust and can be adapted to use various fuels, including: kerosene, ethanol, methane and storable propellants.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information can be obtained by visiting the companies´ websites at www.Rocket.com and www.GenCorp.com.