GKN Aerospace wins rocket deal

Posted on 26 Sep 2018 and read 386 times
GKN Aerospace wins rocket dealGKN Aerospace (www.gkn.com) will develop and manufacture two full-scale turbines for the Prometheus low-cost re-usable rocket engine demonstrator, which will use liquid oxygen and methane propellants.

The turbines will generate power for the methane fuel system, with the first turbine to be delivered at the end of 2019. Manufacturing will take place at GKN Aerospace’s engine-systems centre of excellence in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The new ‘state of the art turbine’ with all its challenging loads — including very-high pressure, high speed and high temperatures — will incorporate the latest additive-manufacturing (AM) technologies; these offer higher performance, shorter lead times and significant reductions in cost.

Indeed, the cutting-edge AM technology being used will see a 90% cost reduction, with the number of parts required being reduced from the more than 100 necessitated by conventional manufacture to just two.

Moreover, these will be the first additively manufactured rocket engine turbines in Europe.

GKN Aerospace’s space business unit in Trollhättan, which has been active in the Ariane programme from its inception in 1974 up to the current Ariane 6 partnership, has to date made more than 1,000 combustion chambers and nozzles — as well as over 250 turbines — for Ariane rockets.

Today, it is the European centre of excellence for turbines and metallic nozzles, having contributed to the programme at every stage — from initial research and development through co-operation with academia to serial production.

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