Complex components for rocket engines
- New companies, technologies and materials are entering the market, making space travel cheaper and more sustainable than ever before
- Rockets become more sustainable thanks, among other things, to the reusability of booster stages
- The digitalised world of today is connected more than ever before, including autonomous driving or fast internet everywhere
- This has led to increasing numbers of satellites in orbit: by 2030, it is estimated that more than 30,000 satellites are expected to be in orbit
We support you with long-standing experience from decades!
With our 20 years legacy in production for rocket propulsion, we are a reliable partner in the development of new engines. We offer serial production of large additive manufactured components such as combustion chambers, with extremely complex geometries in proven NADCAP quality levels.
For about 20 years, GF Casting Solutions has been supplying the Ariane Group, among others, with highly complex casting solutions.
- More than 25 different GF components per launch have already traveled into space.
- They can be found in the Vulcain 2 and Vinci engines, which were successfully tested and qualified in 2018 and 2019.
- The last launch of the Ariane 5 rocket took place in December 2021, carrying the James Webb Space Telescope into space from the Guiana Space Center.
- The GF components can be found in the new generation of Ariane (Ariane 6) as well.
Setting new trends for the space industry with large additive solutions like combustion chambers
365 x 420 x 425 mm
Additive manufacturing with GF
New challenges need revolutionizing ideas and new technologies
We are ready to realize your 3D-printing challenge!
We offer the full additive manufacturing process as well as certified post processing in-house: including surface treatment, heat treatment and non-destructive testing.
In the following, we describe our key features and technologies behind optimized space solutions like the 3D-printed GF combustion chamber.
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Characterization of material properties
Support and consulting in the product development process
Additive Manufacturing oriented and compliant designs
Integration of additional functions and neighbour parts
Topology optimization and FEM simulation
Static and dynamic validation of components also under thermal boundary conditions
Metallurgical analysis of components
- Better design possibilities even compared to casting
- Extreme shapes including hollow structures and very thin walls
- Very complex shapes from thick to thin in one part
- Topological optimization: Reducing weight and material
- Integrating different parts into single parts into one design
- Reduction of welding for joint activities and process steps, e.g. tooling or machining processes
- Conformal cooling channels in near-netshape design
- Optimized rooling rips
- Old design needed many different manufacturing processes: additive design reduces the number of steps drastically
- Cost advantage: not only within the geometry and performance of the application but cost savings through the simplification of the supply chain
- Surface enlargement to achieve improved cooling of the component
- Rip structure to reinforce the component
- Flow optimization on the surface
- Impact on air- or liquid flow
- Cost-neutral feature
- Shaping the structure based on the model of nature
- High strength components with reduced material and weight
- Sustainable and cost efficient
Density: almost no inner porosities (in AM evenly >99.5)
Depending on material and scope, AM can avoid HIP-treatment (cost intensive process step)
Microstructure is finer than cast ones: the tensile strength of AM material is higher
High repeatability in Additive Manufacturing
We team up with you! We offer full R&D Service, including material, process and design development; and excellent project management. We consult and support during the set-up of specifications.
We offer all post-processes in-house (HT, ST, non-destructive testing) and combine more than 20 years experience in casting parts for rocket propulsion with high-end additive maufacturing technology. Our transparent and reliable services and cost structures allow you to fully focus on the race to space.
Need to speed up your manufacturing processes? Benefit from fast turnaround time and a single point of contact: From the concept to the serial production. Our processes are independent from third parties: All processes from development to finishing take place under one roof.
Part size or quantity - We think big! In our 500 x 500 x 500 mm printing space, big and heavy parts are possible as well as small parts in big volumes (part quantity in one print job).
Finding the best solution! We make objective & reliable technical decisions regarding manufacturing technology (additive manufacturing vs. casting) and have experience in customer applications, processes and production costs. Both technologies and all post-processing steps happen under one roof.
Quality you can rely on! Our complete additive manufacturing and follow-up processes are certified according to EN 9100 and Nadcap. Our trained and experienced teams take care of handling critical and complex parts requiring the higest standards.
Additive manufacturing process steps
Our post processing capabilities
- Vacuum & cryogenic heat treatment
- NDT inspection
(including analog & digital RX, FPI, 3D measurement, CMM, bluelight scanner measurements system, and electronic gauges)
- Airflow test
- Installation for chemical etching
- Surface superfinishing processes
- Finishing and polishing (more than 50 years of experience)
- Computer tomography**
- Machining for semi-finished and finished components**
** not in-house
Find the right technology for your project
Additive manufacturing or precision casting?
The choice for the perfect technology depends on the specific project requirements and needs. GF brings long-standing experience with similar component families from the casting process which is now built upon when offering additive solutions: of course at the same high quality level.