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NASA researchers with the Glenn Research Center (GRC) and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) teamed up to develop GRCop-42, a copper-based high strength alloy with high conductivity. Using powder bed fusion (PBF) 3D printing, NASA researchers successfully 3D printed near-fully-dense GRCop-42 components that are resistant to deformation and remain strong even at elevated temperatures.
From 2014 to 2017, NASA engineers completed development on 3D printing fully dense and usable GRCop-84 (Cu-8 at.% Cr-4 at.% Nb) fuel-film-cooled combustion chambers for the low-cost upper stage propulsion liquid oxygen-methane engine using the PBF additive manufacturing method, culminating in several successful hot-fire tests at MSFC in 2016 and 2017. Building upon that work, the NASA teams moved to development of GRCop-42, which would give higher thermal conductivity at similar strength, and thus higher engine performance than even the 84.
GRCop-42 - Printing - Process - Parameters - ConceptLaser
The GRCop-42’s 3D printing process and parameters were developed on a ConceptLaser M2 3D printer, which was also used in the GRCop-84 development and had proven itself ‘copper friendly’ with its inert glovebox and build...
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