With EWI, you can identify and develop potential new technology solutions while strictly adhering to the time constraints of your project.
EWI works with industry-leading rocket manufacturers and spaceflight services companies to develop next-generation technologies designed to reduce weight and cost, improve first-time quality, and speed up the development cycle.
EWI’s cross-technology expertise in process development enables space manufacturers to develop new methods to consolidate complex part assemblies, develop alternative fabrication methods, improve design for manufacture, and increase performance. Our long-standing relationships with some of the most innovative companies in the industry—Moog, Lockheed Martin, Blue Origin—give EWI unique experience in technologies and processes that are especially critical to the space market:
- Friction stir welding
WE MANUFACTURE INNOVATION.
In the space market, the speed of evaluation and development of new technologies is crucial. EWI brings world-class expertise and objective, third-party perspective that allows manufacturers to launch innovative products and processes without delay.
Innovation that Drives Industry
EWI has engaged with space hardware manufacturers to incorporate new technologies like additive manufacturing and friction stir welding, and has worked help companies enhance the effectiveness of core technologies such as forming and welding. EWI enables improvements in performance, quality, and manufacturability of space hardware for rocket engines, launch vehicles, and satellites while meeting launch deadlines.
Additive Manufacturing for the Space Market
Commercial and government space markets can benefit significantly from additive manufacturing using a wide range of materials. While the general advantages of AM are well understood, a number of factors must be considered to determine whether it is appropriate for a given application and to select the processes that will yield the greatest benefit. Additive Manufacturing for the Space Market outlines key considerations when implementing AM processes to fabricate aerospace products.
Laser Cladding of Aerospace Engine Components
Laser cladding creates low-dilution, high-quality buildups for wear resistance, corrosion resistance, component repair, and additive manufacturing. These buildups are fully dense and homogenous, and they require minimal post-processing. The shape and thickness of the deposit is controlled by manipulating the laser spot, and powder is typically fed coaxially, allowing the laser to heat the powder and the substrate at the same time. EWI develops laser cladding technology for fabrication and repair of aerospace engine components.
Additive Manufacturing Consortium
EWI established the Additive Manufacturing Consortium (AMC) in 2010 with a mission of accelerating and advancing the manufacturing readiness of metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology. The AMC continues to focus on addressing the technical challenges of advancing metal additive manufacturing processes that are critical to space hardware manufacturers—such as powder-bed fusion and directed energy deposition (DED) using lasers, arc, and electron beams, and solid-state processes such as ultrasonic additive manufacturing.
Learn more about the Additive Manufacturing Consortium.
3D-Printed Radiation Shielding for Satellites
Current-generation satellites use bolt-on shields to protect sensitive components from multiple types of radiation, including electromagnetic noise. These shields must withstand high g-forces during launch, be as light as possible, and provide the appropriate attenuation of radiation. To reduce weight while maintaining adequate protection, “graded-Z” shields use laminates of several materials with different atomic numbers. These shields typically combine a thin layer of a high-Z material such as tantalum with layers of lower-Z materials such as aluminum, copper, or steel.
Shields are currently produced by bolting stacks of laminates together, or by explosion welding. While explosively welded laminates are significantly lighter, they are extremely expensive to manufacture. Fabrisonic LLC, a spinout company established to commercialize EWI’s patented ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) technology, has produced structural components with integrated tantalum-aluminum graded-Z shielding for several applications. Since these components function as both structure and shielding, they provide significant reductions in mass and total volume. Fabrisonic is also working on integrating thermal protection into these components for further weight savings.
Whether your organization needs help developing laser welding processes for rocket components or using superplastic forming technology to reduce costly machining of components, EWI engineers have the expertise to help you meet your goals without delay. See how EWI can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Space Hardware Manufacturing Services
From concept generation to on-site support, our technical team helps organizations identify the right technology, develop new equipment specifications,and implement new ways of working into current workflows. EWI will work with your integrator or machine builder of choice to effectively deploy manufacturing solutions for your facility. Our space hardware manufacturing services include:
- Advisory services
- Technology development
- Implementation and support
- Research from the Additive Manufacturing Consortium