exploring new heights
The space sector thrives on innovation and technological progress. In recent years, the industry's ambitions have grown to include reusable rockets, producing smaller satellites, and making launch costs more affordable. For technology-driven organisations like Aalberts, such a fast-changing, high-margin environment leads to a raft of new opportunities. One great recent example is providing crucial surface treatment on a rocket engine part.
“Earlier this year we were asked by Launcher, a New York-based rocket-development company, to provide hot isostatic pressing (HIP) on a 3D-printed engine combustion chamber,” says Brent Davis, vice president at Accurate Brazing. “We had just installed an HIP press from Quintus, which specialises in the design, manufacture, installation and support of high-pressure systems for mission-critical industrial components, when Launcher approached us. We received the printed part, removed it from the build plate, and then processed it through HIP and two other key stages. Together, these processes create a more stable product that is far less likely to crack or be impacted by stress. This is critical not only in the space sector, but a range of other industries where reliability is vital, and one of the main benefits of HIP.”
With Accurate Brazing’s strong service range and marketing reach playing a key role in attracting Launcher, Brent is excited about other industries in which they will be able to offer HIP. “Aerospace, ground turbine manufacturing, power generation, the medical sector and now the space industry are all burgeoning,” he says. “We have great credentials, a strong HIP partner in Quintus, and we are one of the very few companies in the United States that can offer customers an all-in-one post-processing service. This is especially appealing to companies that traditionally have to transport their parts hundreds of miles to be processed, but can now achieve the same high-quality results more cost effectively and sustainably working with us. Add in the benefits of 3D-printed parts, which reduce the development time of projects and cut the overall costs, and we are confident about the future.”