When asked which application has particularly moved the AM community in recent weeks, one term would certainly come up quickly: the Aerospike component. This is a rocket engine developed by Hyperganic and manufactured by EOS and AMCM. Unlike classic, bell-shaped rocket nozzles, a rocket engine in aerospike form can adapt to the atmospheric air pressure at different flight altitudes.

Due to its shape, however, it poses an enormous challenge in component design and manufacturing. Hyperganic's algorithm-based design made it possible to print this component on an EOS system (material: Inconel 718) or, in a larger variant made of copper, on an M 4K system from AMCM. Subsequently, the copper component was de-powdered at AMCM in a Solukon system (SFM-AT1000-S). But why is powder removal more than just the next logical step after printing?

Why SPRĀ® powder removal technology is so critical

Automatic powder removal with Solukon delivers many benefits compared to manual processes: Increased health and safety, time savings of up to 90% and contamination-free powder recovery are among them. But what is particularly striking about the Aerospike component is the following unique selling point: automatic de-powdering is reliable and reproducible. This means that even the most complicated geometries become clean. Component designers can therefore design freely because the Solukon system gets every geometry clean. This is made possible by the endless rotation of both axes with which the Solukon SFM-AT800-S and the SFM-AT1000-S are equipped. This means that AM users no longer have to worry about whether internal cavities are too small and whether the powder left behind causes problems in subsequent processes. They can create channels in the way that makes the most sense in terms of thermal conductivity and performance.

Serial cleaning and comprehensive process monitoring

Complex components such as the Aerospike engine are not a one-off depowdering task, because more and more applications with complicated internal channels are going into series production. What is printed in series must also be cleaned in series. Here, the Solukon systems provide the perfect conditions: Movement patterns can be saved as a profile and run repeatedly. For particularly challenging geometries, software calculates the ideal motion sequence, which is then available as a programme and thus always delivers the same, reliable cleaning result for the same components. In addition, Solukon offers full transparency of the cleaning process: with the Digital Factory Tool, a comprehensive quality protocol is available at the end.

Automatic de-powdering with Solukon SPRĀ® technology is therefore a guarantee for free component design, reliable cleaning results and complete process transparency. That is why leading OEMs, such as EOS and AMCM, also rely on Solukon as their partner for industrial depowdering.


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