Metal Technology (MTI) Partners With NASA To 3D Print Rocket Engine Parts

ALBANY, Ore., Nov. 17, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —  Metal Technology, a custom manufacturing company specializing in reactive, refractory, and high temperature metals headquartered in Albany, Oregon, announced today that it is collaborating with NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) to develop the next generation of rocket engines.

NASA Rocket Engine chamber and nozzle 3D printed by Metal Technology (MTI) from Inconel 718 alloy with integrated conformal cooling passages.

Few organizations are as busy integrating 3D direct metal printing into their engineering and design work as NASA. NASA currently has multiple business units working on projects as part of an effort to leverage best practices using digital manufacturing methods, including 3D metal printing.

Teams of propulsion engineers and scientists are working to integrate additive manufacturing methods such as conformal regenerative cooling channels or other geometry not constrained by traditional manufacturing techniques; all with a common goal of increasing performance and/or reducing weight. 

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) has a clear business case for space flight development. As such, MTI has embraced the technology and is now being called upon to produce components for the customers they have served with traditional manufacturing techniques for over thirty years.

MTI produced components for NASA JSC out of Inconel 718 alloy. The material is robust enough to withstand extreme heat and corrosive environments without losing its rigidity or becoming brittle. "The project provided amazing collaboration between the NASA and MTI development teams and the results were excellent," said Gary Cosmer, Chief Executive Officer for MTI.

The joint collaboration yielded components that will withstand temperatures well above the melting point of the material. This, of course, would be impossible without engineered cooling. That's where 3D printing shines. Recirculating gases can be channeled throughout the component by invisible channels that are literally built into the component, one layer at a time.

Keeping in mind that the end game is to reduce cost and weight while increasing performance, these targets are important milestones for NASA as it reaches out further into space. MTI is no stranger to space related projects and has also produced forgings for the Orion capsule, which will travel upon NASA's Space Launch System designed for missions to Mars and beyond.

About Metal Technology (MTI)

Established in 1971, Metal Technology (MTI) uses innovative technologies to offer global markets a wide range of specialty metals solutions. Major markets served are aerospace, defense, scientific, semi-conductor, superconducting, nuclear and vacuum coating.

Contact: Steven Smith / 800-394-9979 / Email Contact

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Metal Technology (MTI)

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