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ArianeGroup and Oerlikon sign €900K order for Ariane 6 AM parts

Looking at the production of 3D printed sets of heat exchangers for the new rocket launcher

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Oerlikon AM and ArianeGroup signed an order worth up to €900,000 for the production of 3D printed sets of heat exchangers for the new Ariane 6 rocket launcher. The Ariane 6 launcher is a strategic vector for European access to space, 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 on the way to consolidating 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.

Compact and lightweight

Oerlikon AM worked very 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.

Designed for series production

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.

On route to class 1 supplier

“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. “We are confident in our level of expertise and maturity, and further announcements on flight critical parts for launcher applications will follow soon: We have been working in close collaboration with our customers on these applications for a long time now,” concluded Hendrik Alfter.

It is possible to visit Oerlikon at the Paris Air Show in Hall 2B, Booth E157, and meet the developers of the additively manufactured set of heat exchangers for the Ariane 6 rockets.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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