ArianeGroup continues ETID hot-fire tests with first full-scale 3D-printed combustion chamber injector head

The Expander-cycle Technology Integrated Demonstrator (ETID) is a full-scale demonstrator of an innovative thrust chamber for a future upper-stage rocket engine in the 10 metric ton thrust class. It aims to prove various technologies and manufacturing methods, such as additive manufacturing, laser ignition and cost-efficient materials.

etidThe current test configuration incorporates ArianeGroup’s first full-scale 3D-printed injector head for next-generation thrust chamber assemblies. It has now successfully performed the first hot-fire tests in representative conditions on the German Aerospace Center (DLR) P3.2 test bench in Lampoldshausen. Drawing on experience from earlier, smaller-scale R&T activities, this single-piece injector head, made of Inconel 718, is the latest development step in the field. It is printed by powder-bed-based selective laser melting and replaces conventional injector heads made of more than 200 individual pieces. This will help to considerably simplify the production and assembly of future rocket engines.

ETID is part of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme, which aims to increase the future competitiveness of European launchers by creating ready-made technical solutions that can be transferred for quick development projects with minimal cost, effort and risk. ArianeGroup in Germany is lead contractor for the ETID programme, and European partners GKN Aerospace in Sweden, APP in the Netherlands, Safran Aero Boosters in Belgium and Carinthian Tech Research in Austria have provided hardware components. Hot-fire testing has been taking place since June 2018 at the DLR’s P3.2 test facility: the setup tests and the first test series, now completed with good results, totalled 1,370 seconds of operation.

ArianeGroup will be exhibiting at Space Tech Expo Europe 2019 on Stand E50