Gravity YL1 - Credit: Orienspace

Orienspace, an aerospace company known for the design and manufacture of Gravity Series launch vehicles and Force Series rocket engines, has recently launched the Gravity-1 Y-1 commercial carrier rocket.

The rocket delivered the Yunyao-1 No. 18-20 satellites into their predetermined orbits, making this way Gravity-1 Y-1’s launch mission a success.

What raises our interest is the fact that at the manufacturing level, the rocket benefits from the use of metal AM for certain critical parts. As is often the case, rockets feature large components with complex geometries that are prone to deformation.

Gravity-1 Y-1 was no exception to this rule. These components pose challenges in traditional manufacturing methods, such as high processing difficulty, long production cycles, and low material utilization.

To manufacture these parts, the team relied on BLT’s LSF technology which could address these production and lead time challenges. LSF stands for Laser solid forming (LSF). It is a laser direct energy deposition additive manufacturing technology based on the powder feeding method with a high deposition rate.

After examination, it has been verified that the room temperature tensile mechanical properties of TC11 titanium alloy parts are reliable, with a tensile strength of ≥1060 MPa and a yield strength of ≥885 MPa, meeting the technical requirements and ensuring product quality. Furthermore, after the solidification process, the cost and production cycle meet the demands for mass production. BLT utilized multiple machines simultaneously printing to produce over 30 main bundle-related products in batch for the client. The formed components exhibit high consistency in quality performance, meeting the stringent requirements for aerospace applications, thereby contributing to the successful launch of the rocket into space, a press communication explains.

While LSF has helped Orienspace achieve its production requirements, it should be noted that machine manufacturer BLT also specializes in SLM and WAAM processes, all of which can be utilized in aerospace manufacturing.

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Corporate communication and marketing expert by training at 3D Adept, Kety is currently leading the publication’s editorial and content activities. She has a unique gift for knowing how to grab an audience's attention on insights that matter – in this case, everything related to additive manufacturing. She believes that a wide range of innovations still have to be discovered about the technologies that shape the world of tomorrow and she has made it her objective at 3D ADEPT Media.