Space

Fabrisonic’s Additive Manufacturing will be essential in the generation of aluminum satellite heat exchangers

Summary

Fabrisonic, a developer of Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) solutions in Columbus, decided to manufacture Additive satellite heat exchangers in 6061 aluminum. This experiment took place in Utah State University under the College of Engineering. The company is renowned for developing […]

Fabrisonic, a developer of Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) solutions in Columbus, decided to manufacture Additive satellite heat exchangers in 6061 aluminum. This experiment took place in Utah State University under the College of Engineering. The company is renowned for developing various heat exchangers with internal designs utilizing UAM technology.

The company has developed similar structures for NASA following Jet Propulsion Lab’s standard tests. Typically, the heat exchangers are created using more significant equipment like SonicLayer® 7200. Initially, the company utilized this procedure to manufacture 6061 aluminum satellite heat exchangers to unveil the purely hermetic heat exchanger systems. Nevertheless, the company discovered that it could utilize these components to develop the SonicLayer 1200 and infuse the complex channel geometries.

The engineers realized that they could fix the complex fluid passages meandering in the heat exchangers with hybrid additive material from the CNC machines. Fabrisonic patented the technology to prevent copying by other companies interested in the technology. The company understood that it could seal the passages without leaving extrusions in the metal. The supporting material ensures that the system does not cave into the passages. The supporting material is usually unhooked to wash the heat exchanger leaving the material as clean as possible with sizeable space for adjustments.

The channels are large enough to maintain the heat exchanger’s shape and keep the dimensions of the exchanger with their precision. The engineers moved on to the operationalization and the integrity of the heat exchanger after ensuring that the geometric dimensions are sorted and the design made appropriate. Like in the other heat exchanger, sealing is crucial to prevent leakages into the satellite heat exchanger’s vacuum.

The heat exchanger’s seals had to be developed with high precision to ensure that the units can submerge into the water tub. Additionally, the design facilitated the maintenance of pressure at 50 psi. The presence of air bubbles in the tub would indicate that the channels’ hermetic nature is compromised. The company explained that all the heat exchanger components passed the rigorous Jet Propulsion Laboratory tests before its acceptance into the mega devices.

The heat exchanger has a helium leak detector that will be maintaining the vacuum space in it. More test results will emerge when the equipment is in use in general procedures in space. Most of the components have passed the tests, and it would be exciting to see the exchanger in action.

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