Deep Blue Aerospace is among the leading aerospace companies in China. In July 2021, the company completed China’s first reusable launch test with its DBA-M ‘Grass Hopper Jump’ launch vehicle, and went on to successfully carry out a 100 metre vertical take-off and landing procedure in October 2021. It then carried out a vertical take-off and landing at an altitude of 1,000 metres in May and by the end of June had completed the ignition test of a 20-ton thrust liquid oxygen kerosene rocket engine, the Thunder-R1.
The completion of these launch tests means Deep Blue Aerospace has quickly followed SpaceX in carrying out successful low-altitude engineering tests of its reusable liquid oxygen kerosene rockets. This year, the company enhanced the batch production of its rocket engine combustion chambers by integrating the Farsoon FS621M system, which was launched by Farsoon at TCT Asia in 2020.
Harnessing Farsoon’s metal 3D printing technology, Deep Blue Aerospace has additively manufactured an Inconel combustion chamber measuring 780mm in height and 550mm in diameter. With 3D printing, the company has been able to consolidate the design into a single piece, incorporate lightweight lattice structures and self-supported geometries, and design hundreds of internal cooling ribs and channels to promote combustion efficiency. The design validation cycle was also said to have been accelerated by 80% compared to the conventional process.
“At Deep Blue, we produce over 80% of the key components in rocket engine using metal 3D printing,” commented Dr. Tian Cailan, Head of Additive Manufacturing at Deep Blue Aerospace. “Farsoon’s FS621M offers us the ability to rapidly manufacture large-sized engine parts featuring lightweight designs, structural integration, improved performance and reliability; with only a fraction of the cost, labour and lead time compared to the traditional technologies.
“Being a key component of the rocket engine, the combustion chamber has to achieve the required performance, efficiency and reliability under the extreme operating conditions of heat and pressure. We are fully convinced with the high quality, fast production speed and operational stability delivered with Farsoon FS621M system. We are able to offer products that are significantly lighter, more repeatable, yet demonstrated much better properties during the functional test, which is essential to meet the demanding standard of aerospace industry.”
Deep Blue Space’s next step is to continue vertical take-off and landing tests at high altitude, before starting its first orbital launch missions of its reusable full-scale carrier rocket.
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