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With advancements in additive manufacturing, the manufacture of regeneratively cooled thrust chambers is simpler nowadays.

Brooklyn based startup Launcher Space Inc. says most 3D printed engines use less conductive materials such as Inconel, compromising the cooling capability.

'They are moving to copper to have best performance engine' .

Also most of the high performance engines like RD-107 use a copper inner liner. Other highly conductive materials that are being used are aluminium alloys.

Is it even possible to maintain the wall temperature at a safer limit with a less conductive material like Inconel ?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm seeing 5 questions in this post. $\endgroup$ Oct 12, 2018 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ The F-1 engine used for the first stage of Saturn V were made of Inconel. Development of this engine was started in the fifties of last century. How old should a modern age engine be in your opinion? $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Oct 13, 2018 at 15:02

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Inconel is chosen because it has a much higher melting point than copper, so the engine can be run at a high temperature.

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  • $\begingroup$ Isn’t the strength of inconel at higher temperature that makes it the preferable material? $\endgroup$ Oct 12, 2018 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ A liquid cooled thrust chamber may be made of copper or inconel, but it would melt with insufficient cooling anyway. Temperature in the center of the thrust chamber would be higher than at the inner walls. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Oct 12, 2018 at 22:19
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    $\begingroup$ If the melting point is the only reason, thrust chambers should be made from tungsten (3400 °C) or molybdenum (2620 °C). Even titanium (1670 °C) has a higher melting point than inconel (1380 to 1425 °C). More melting points. But many metals loose their strength long before melting. But the combustion chamber should resist the high operating pressure in it and also in the cooling channels or tubes. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Oct 14, 2018 at 9:43

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