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Oerlikon to Produce Additively Manufactured Parts for Ariane 6 Rocket

Our Bureau - : Jun 20, 2023 - : 2:16 pm

Oerlikon AM and ArianeGroup have signed an order worth up to €900,000 for the production of 3D-printed heat exchanger sets for the new Ariane 6 rocket launcher.

The Ariane 6 launcher is a strategic vector for European space access, bringing satellites and high-tech payloads into orbit several times per year. The successful cooperation with ArianeGroup, and the use of additively manufactured components, is another important milestone for Oerlikon as it consolidates its position as a recognized supplier of AM parts to space companies.

Ariane 6 is expected to play a key role in Europe’s space activities, including scientific exploration, Earth observation, telecommunications, and national security. It is designed for optimized flexibility and efficiency, to provide a reliable and cost-effective means of launching a wide variety of payloads into space, including satellites. 3D printed aluminum parts from Oerlikon AM will act as heat management devices (heat exchangers) for onboard equipment, supporting the performance and flexibility of the new launcher.

Oerlikon AM worked closely with the Ariane 6 technical team to ensure the heat management solution meets the most stringent technical specifications. During the development process, the team exploited key advantages of metal 3D printing versus conventional manufacturing, such as increased geometric freedom of design, minimal weight, and rapid lead times. As a result, the heat exchangers’ new, compact design fits perfectly into the very limited installation space, capitalizing on the benefits of additive manufacturing.

After its initial launch, Ariane 6 will take-off several times per year into various orbits, including low Earth orbit, geostationary transfer orbit and sun-synchronous orbit. Thus, the heat exchanger sets were explicitly designed for serial production. Oerlikon AM will support ArianeGroup to meet their production requirements over the coming years, based on the forecasted demand for the rocket. Ariane 6 is projected to emerge as a leading European solution for access to space, with substantial anticipated market demand.

“Delivering components for Ariane 6 is an important milestone as we consolidate and expand our position as a reliable and innovative partner for serial parts in the space industry. Driving the industrialization of class 2 and 3 space components is the prerequisite of our success. These products are already part of our product portfolio, taking us an important step further on our way to supplying the industry with flight-critical class 1 parts in the very short term,” said Hendrik Alfter, Managing Director, Oerlikon AM.


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