AerospaceAM for Space ExplorationMass Production

GKN delivers 3D printed Ariane 6 nozzle to Airbus Safran Launchers

GKN Aerospace has delivered the first advanced Ariane 6 nozzle (SWAN) to Airbus Safran Launchers in France for the Vulcain 2.1 engine. The new state of the art nozzle, which measures 2.5m in diameter incorporates innovative technologies with higher performance, lower lead times and substantial cost reduction. Large scale use of laser welding and laser metal deposition (additive manufacturing) for key structural features resulted in a 90% reduction of component parts, taking it down from approximately 1000 parts to 100 parts.

A demonstrator nozzle has already been successfully trialed in a full-scale engine nozzle test as part of the European Space Agency’s Ariane  Research and Technology Accompaniment (ARTA) Program. Now the flight configuration nozzle will be mounted in France to the Vulcain 2.1 engine for a test in Germany. The Ariane 6 is scheduled to enter service in 2020. Airbus Safran Launchers is the prime contractor and GKN’s customer in this development program funded by the European Space Agency.

GKN Aerospace will manufacture the nozzle in a new highly automated manufacturing center in its facility in Trollhättan, Sweden, which is scheduled to open in 2018. In total GKN Aerospace will provide five complex sub-systems for each Ariane 6 rocket, including four turbine assemblies for the two engines, generating power for the hydrogen and oxygen fuel systems.

“We are proud to be part of the Ariane 6 team. The advanced nozzle manufactured with breakthrough technologies is a true innovation. With the support of the Swedish National Space Board, we participated in the initial engine demonstrator programs. This allowed us to work with our customer to prove the great added value that innovative technologies like additive manufacturing have for the design and production processes in the space and aerospace industry,” said Sebastien Aknouche General Manager Space, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems.

GKN Aerospace’s Space business unit, in Trollhättan, Sweden, has been active in the Ariane program from its inception in 1974 and has made over 1,000 combustion chambers and nozzles as well as over 250 turbines for the Ariane rocket to date. Today it is the European center of excellence for turbines and metallic nozzles, having contributed to the program at every stage of initial research and development through cooperation with academia to the serial production.

Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

Related Articles

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • PHPSESSID
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services
Close
Close

STAY AHEAD

OF THE CURVE

Join industry leaders and receive the latest insights on what really matters in AM!

This information will never be shared with 3rd parties

I’ve read and accept the privacy policy.*

WELCOME ON BOARD!