2nd Place DLR Space Administration Challenge

Additive Manufacturing for Space Using High-Performance Polymers

AMPFORS (Additive Manufacturing of Polymer Parts for Space) is seeking to replace the metal structural components used for space applications with lightweight polymer parts. These parts are produced by means of additive manufacturing, which is also known as 3D printing. To compensate for their lower mechanical stability compared to metal, the polymer components are then outfitted with a metallic layer to form a “sandwich” composite. AMPFORS plans to use both the high-performance polymer PEEK and the less expensive material polyamide (PA). In addition to the space sector, this project‘s key markets include aircraft manufacturing, mechanical engineering, tool-making, and medical equipment production.

Benefits:

  • Makes satellite structures up to 20% lighter and up to 50% less expensive
  • Incorporation of metal coatings improve the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of polymers; also prevents the emission of water and monomers
  • Additive Manufacturing process speeds up component design and production

Contact:

Fraunhofer IST
Brunswick, Germany
Dr. Andreas Dietz
www.ist.fraunhofer.de
andreas.dietz@ist.fraunhofer.de

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