Additively Manufactured Scramjets
PSI additive manufacturing engines and heat exchangers for any application.
Additively Manufactured Scramjets
PSI manufactures scramjet engines for reusable and expendable applications.
Capability Description: Traditional scramjet fabrication methods have long lead times, high part rejection rate, and great expense due to the number of parts requiring hand-rework by skilled fabricators. PSI’s additive manufacturing plus brazing process allows for high-complexity components to be joined together into large-scale scramjet assemblies. This process requires fewer parts and reduces overall system mass to provide a cost savings benefit. The joining architecture allows for novel materials only realizable by AM and multi-material assemblies with individual parts the can be inspected prior to assembly for improved reliability.
Key Features: PSI’s scramjet assembly architecture makes use of several critical technologies to bring huge benefit to engine manufacturers:
- Use of additive manufacturing allows for construction of scramjet segments of arbitrary complexity with rapid-redesign capability for updates, rework, incorporation of new components
- PSI’s advanced additive manufacturing capabilities, developed internally on our SLM125, enable finer feature resolution for small-scale, internal passages used to improve thermal dissipation and regenerative cooling capabilities
- Robust joining architecture allows for high-pressure seal in multi-part assemblies to be created; overall scramjet ducts may comprise of separately-made, inspectable pieces
Benefits: As competition with adversaries has increased, the need for hypersonics weapons has emerged as a top DoD priority. Hypersonic platforms are a pillar of DoD offensive strategy over the next ten years and advances in materials and manufacturing methods are one of the key technologies to expedite their availability. Next generation scramjet platforms will need to operate at increased Mach speed and endure long-duration hypersonic flight. PSI’s AM scramjet technology allows for enhanced design and the use of novel materials required to overcome the associated thermal management challenges. These benefits bring scramjets engines one step closer to finding wide-spread deployment for DoD needs.
Ultra-Compact Heat Exchanger
PSI’s additively manufactured heat exchanger can adapt to the performance and geometry needs of any application.
Capability Description: Current aircraft thermal management systems are unable to meet the increasing heat rejection requirements of newer, energy dense technologies. Existing heat exchangers are also bulky and their rectangular shape is not adaptable to the unique volume spaces that are available on space-constrained aircraft. PSI’s Ultra-Compact Heat Exchanger (UCHX) employs an adaptive design that can be readily tailored to fit into existing volumes while also conforming to maximize performance for the given thermofluidic conditions. PSI has also developed the thin-wall printing capabilities needed to additively manufacture our heat exchanger geometry in a number of different materials, such as aluminum and nickel alloys, using our SLM125 metal printer.
Key Features: PSI’s UCHX makes use of several critical technologies to bring weight-saving and heat transfer performance benefits to any application:
- PSI has developed a conformal AM heat exchanger that can be readily adapted to fit into existing volume on aircraft or pods that is currently wasted
- Prior work has already demonstrated impermeable AM heat exchangers with wall thickness down to 254 μm to maximize heat transfer to weight ratio
- Demonstrated 6.6 kW/kg of heat transfer at 81% effectiveness for liquid-gas application
Benefits: PSI’s UCHX technology directly addresses the defense-related mission need for high-performance airborne heat exchangers. As thermal loads increase across all aircraft due to greater power, electrification, and inclusion of directed energy weapons, a greater density of heat rejection is required. Compact, lightweight heat exchangers, such as PSI’s UCHX, will allow for this increased heat rejection and enable the deployment of other advanced technologies. Furthermore, the UCHX has the potential to improve the efficiency of thermally dependent devices such as direct energy weapons and maintain safe operating temperatures for high power electronics and similar equipment.