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India’s first privately build Cryogenic Engine

Tags: National News

Hyderabad­ based Skyroot Aerospace successfully tested Dhawan­1, thus making it country’s first privately developed, fully cryogenic rocket engine. 

The Cryogenic engine has been named after Satish Dhawan, who was the third chairman of ISRO. He pioneered the development of advanced space launch capabilities of India.

It runs on two high performance rocket propellants — liquid natural gas (LNG) and liquid oxygen (LoX).

The company has been founded by ex-IITians Naga Bharath D. and C. Pawan Kumar.

The company will use the engine as the upper stage of its Vikram-2 launch vehicle that can carry payloads up to 720 kg to low earth orbit. 

The engine has been completely 3D printed and made in India. The company used a superalloy for 3D printing the engine, which reduced the manufacturing time by 95%.

Cryogenic engines are one of most complex technologies to  develop and so far only six countries have these launch vehicles including the US, China, Russia, France, Japan, and India. India used its first GSLV in 2001.

In India the Cryogenic Engine is being developed by ISRO(Indian Space Research Organisation).

 At least two private space companies – American Blue Origin and European Arianespace – have developed cryogenic engines as well. 

Cryogenic Engine 

Cryogenics is the branch of Physics that deals with the production, effects and uses of a wide variety of materials at very low temperatures. The cryogenic temperature range has been defined as from −150 °C (−238 °F) to absolute zero (−273 °C or −460 °F), 

A Cryogenic rocket stage is more efficient and provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant it burns compared to solid and earth-storable liquid propellant rocket stages. Specific impulse (a measure of the efficiency) achievable with cryogenic propellants (liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen) is much higher compared to earth storable liquid and solid propellants, giving it a substantial payload advantage. Oxygen liquifies at -183 degree C and Hydrogen at -253 degree C.


Superalloy

Superalloys are high-strength, often complex alloys that are resistant to high temperatures and severe mechanical stress and that exhibit high surface stability. They are commonly classified into three major categories: nickel-based, cobalt-based, and iron-basedNickel-based superalloys predominate in the turbine section of jet engines where temperatures reach 1200–1400 °C. Although they have little inherent resistance to oxidation at high temperatures, they gain desirable properties through the addition of cobalt, chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, titanium, aluminum, and niobium.


3D Printing

3D printing or additive manufacturing uses computer-aided designing to make prototypes or working models of objects by laying down successive layers of materials such as plastic, resin, thermoplastic, metal, fibre or ceramic.It is basically a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.

This is opposite of “Subtractive Manufacturing” which works on removal of material to create a desired object. It is similar to a man who cuts a stone to create a sculpture.

The first working 3-D printer was created in 1984 by Charles W. Hull of 3-D Systems Corp.

One of the key applications for such products is in the medical and allied sector.

The USA remains the global leader in 3D printing, with more than 35% market share

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