OHB Hellas intends to focus on the development of polymer-based Additive Manufacturing (AM) for aerospace applications. This idea is based on the ongoing progress that is made in the area of AM processes and materials. The goal is to demonstrate the benefits of modelling and optimization of AM design and process, taking advantage of its potential and contributing towards the AM technology maturation for aerospace applications. OHB Hellas has identified several Greek partners for this development and looks forward to the commercialization of this know-how for the country and for OHB SE.
Hellenic Center for Additive Manufacturing
OHB Hellas is proud to be one of the shareholders of the first Hellenic Center for Additive Manufacturing (HCAM), which will focus on producing end-to-end solutions in various sectors including space and aeronautics, with AM at its core.
The «Hellenic Center for Additive Manufacturing S.A. - HCAM» announced on 24 February, 2022 its establishment and start of operation in Patras, Greece.
The experiment under AMable program consisted of the development of a structure for a CubeSat by FFF of the following polymers: PEKK, PEKK with carbon fiber embedded and PEI (Ultem™ 9085). The ultra-high performance polymers addressed belongs to Polyaryletherketone family with high mechanical properties and resistant to high temperatures which make them useful for space flight products.
The structure has been Aluminium coated in order to improve electrical and thermal conductance. This coating is 3-5 microns thick and is applied to all the internal and external surfaces.
The use of these polymeric materials together with the coating enables its usage in most space applications with the added advantage of around 40% mass reduction with regards to traditional CubeSat structures. The design has also taken into account manufacturing and assembly constraints in order to reduce also the manufacturing cost.
The aim of this experiment is:
- Produce a prototype for a PEEK CubeSat by Additive Manufacturing.
- Comply with all requirements of these structures and improve performance as three advantages arise from AM utilization:
- Lightweight CubeSat structure for reducing cost and energy usage
- CubeSat payload capacity is increased
- Join assembly parts to manufacture as a unified structure reducing the assembly effort
- Implementation of metallization process for the rails à complying with roughness specification and ensuring the optimum interface between CubeSat and P-POD
We are very proud of our participation and contribution to the RAMFASAT experiment, a collaboration between FEAC Engineering, 3DHUB Greece and OHB Hellas that took place under the framework of AMable initiative, between July 2021 and May 2022.
RAMFASAT is an experiment that utilizes topology optimization and additive manufacturing techniques early in the design phase and manufacturing process, to redesign a critical component of the ADC (Attitude Determination and Control) System for Micro-Satellites.
The aim of this experiment was to:
- Achieve significant mass reduction and thus launch cost reduction
- Eliminate the limitations and restrictions from well-established manufacturing methods
- Simplify construction and assembly of the product
The final printed component, made of PEEK and NYLON in two different configurations, fulfilled all established requirements, paving the way for more widespread use of AM polymer applications in space.