Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., and NASA completed hot-fire testing of an RS-25 rocket engine containing its largest additively manufactured component to date.
During the 400-second test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Aerojet Rocketdyne was able to evaluate the performance of a 3-D printed vibration dampening device, known as a pogo accumulator assembly. The pogo accumulator assembly is a complex piece of hardware that acts as a shock absorber to dampen oscillations caused by propellants as they flow between the vehicle and the engine. The pogo accumulator assembly is important to ensuring a safe flight by stabilizing these potential oscillations.
The pogo accumulator assembly consists of two components: the pogo accumulator and pogo-z baffle. Both were made using a 3-D printing technique called selective laser melting, which uses lasers to fuse metal powder into a pattern by adding layer upon layer of material to produce the part.
The SLS, designed to send astronauts and cargo to explore the moon and other deep space destinations, uses four Aerojet Rocketdyne-built RS-25 engines, which are known for their extremely high performance and reliability.