BLT’s Additive Manufacturing Enables Successful Launch of World’s First Liquid Oxygen-Methane Rocket

Bright Laser Technologies (BLT), located in Xi’an, China, reports that it has provided a range of metal Additive Manufacturing support in the development of critical components in Landspace’s ZQ-2 Y2 methane-fueled rocket. The two-stage rocket, with a diameter of 3.35 m and a total length of 49.5 m, has a launch weight of 219 tons and takeoff thrust of 268 tons.

Landspace launched the ZQ-2 Y2 rocket from the China Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

The ZQ-2 Y2 is reported to be the world’s first liquid oxygen-methane carrier rocket to successfully reach orbit.

During its development, the BLT team conducted a comprehensive analysis of the service conditions for a number of parts, selecting materials such as superalloys and stainless steel to meet the required mechanical properties. Parts were manufactured on machines such as the BLT-S310 and BLT-S400 Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing machines.

The BLT-S310 (left) and BLT-S400 (right) enable a variety of materials to be used, including titanium alloy, superalloy, aluminium alloys, stainless steel, high-strength steel, and tool steel (Courtesy BLT)

Certified by Airbus, the BLT-S310 has a maximum build dimension of 250 × 250 × 400 mm. The BLT-S400, primarily used for aerospace industry applications, has a larger build area and is capable of manufacturing parts with dimensions of up to 400 × 250 × 400 mm.

According to BLT, the Additive Manufacturing process not only met performance requirements, but also enabled the creation of complex structures resulting in further optimisation. This capability significantly reduced prototyping and validation time, enhanced efficiency, and facilitated weight reduction.

Source: Metal-AM

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