Evaluation of additive technologies application for creating models of space missile head

Design, construction and manufacturing of flying vehicles


Astapov V. Y.1*, Khoroshko L. L.2**, Dudkov K. V.1***

1. Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia
2. ,

*e-mail: vikas53@yandex.ru
**e-mail: khoroshko@mati.ru
***e-mail: JDG90@rambler.ru


The external outlines of a head fairing affects significantly missile aerodynamic characteristics as a whole. In case of loading, they determine the aerodynamic forces and moments affecting not only the head fairing itself but also the bays to which the fairing is being fixed. The fairing outline should ensure such a gas flow-around, at which minimum zones with vortex flow character is realized. Aerodynamic models are being employed for a head fairing blow-down. It is a complex product, which is firstly being designed, and then manufactured according to the requirements to a particular testing system. Very strict requirements on geometric similarity and surface quality are being placed on the model. Aerodynamics models manufacturing according to the conventional technology is based on machining and is rather labor consuming process. The authors suggest employing new and prospective forming methods, namely additive production, to produce an aerodynamic model, which will change radically both technology and a structure. The additive production principle consists in the fact that functional products and surfaces are being created by layer-by-layer adding of material, i.e. fusing or sputtering the powder, with adding a liquid polymer or a composite. Additive technologies may be systematized according to various criteria, such as the used material phase, radiation source, layer formation method. All modern systems of rapid prototyping operate according to the similar layer-by-layer principle of a physical model construction. Additive technologies employing allows meeting specifications to the aerodynamic model.

For the aerodynamic model growth, the 3D CAD model was being translated into machine G-codes, describing the extruder or laser motion trajectory (depending on the technology). The SLA (Stereo-lithography) was chosen as a rational option in terms of the final product quality and cost. Several models were manufactured and tested at various modes. For the pipe operating area, a drainage model in 1:100 scale was developed. The goal of the tests consisted in experimental determination of the pressure distribution along the head fairing surface, as well as external pressure in the area of the most large-size superstructures installed on the model.

Prior to the head fairing aerodynamic model manufacturing commence, tests of the samples for obtaining the physical properties of the material, being obtained in the process of formation with the layer-by-layer synthesis installation, were performed. The obtained models fully meet the requirements of geometric similarity. When loaded with external loads, the models did not deflect and did not break in the joints areas. They proved their reliability while load application. The test task was experimental determination of the pressure coefficient distribution on the surface of the head fairing and in the area of superstructures.


additive technologies, 3D printer, computer aided design systems, aerodynamic models, 3D modeling, prototyping


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