Abstract

GRCop is an alloy family constructed of copper, chromium, and niobium and was developed by NASA for high heat flux applications. GRCop-alloys were specifically formulated for the requirements in channel-cooled main combustion chambers allowing for repeat use in high heat flux environments [1]. GRCop-84 was evolved using additive manufacturing techniques under a NASA development program. To further increase thermal conductivity while maintaining material strength characteristics, the percentage of alloying elements were cut in half and GRCop-42 was developed. In recent years, NASA has successfully additively manufactured GRCop-42 with comparable material characteristics to extruded GRCop-42 using a Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) process. Benefits of this process include fabrication of intricate internal cooling channels as well as a decrease in manufacturing time. However, there are some large disadvantages in using this process. The nature of the powder bed process imposes a strict volume constraint as well as an excessive amount of material inventory required. A Directed Energy Deposition (DED) process addresses these limitations while also speeding up the manufacturing process. With little data on how DED performs with GRCop-42, an investigation into the mechanical properties was conducted. More specifically, Blown Powder Directed Energy Deposition (BPD), was used to compare material properties to that of the L-PBF manufactured GRCop-42. The DED manufactured material was found to have less than 0.1% porosity. Tensile tests concluded that the DED manufactured GRCop-42 had lower tensile strengths at room temperature. The results point towards a process capable of producing fully dense parts capable of meeting mechanical strength requirements with some possible refinement of printing parameters.

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