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It aims to prove various technologies and manufacturing methods, such as additive manufacturing, laser ignition, and cost-efficient materials.
The current test configuration incorporates ArianeGroup’s first full-scale 3D-printed injector head for next-generation thrust chamber assemblies. It has now successfully performed the first hot-fire tests in representative conditions on the German Aerospace Center (DLR) P3.2 test bench in Lampoldshausen. Drawing on experience from earlier, smaller-scale R&T activities, this single-piece injector head, made of Inconel 718, is the latest development step in the field. It is printed by powder bed-based selective laser melting and replaces conventional injector heads made of more than 200 individual pieces. This will significantly help to simplify the production and assembly of future rocket engines.
ETID is part of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Program, which aims to increase the future competitiveness of European launchers by creating ready-made technical solutions which can be transferred for quick development projects with minimal cost, effort, and risk. ArianeGroup in Germany is lead contractor for the ETID program, and European partners GKN Aerospace in Sweden, APP in the Netherlands, Safran Aero Boosters in Belgium, and Carinthian Tech Research in Austria have provided hardware components. Hot-fire testing has been taking place since June 2018 at the DLR’s P3.2 test facility: the set-up tests and the first test series, now completed with good results, totaled 1,370 seconds of operation.