Design, Production and Evaluation of 3D-Printed Mold Geometries for a Hybrid Rocket Engine
The feasibility of 3D-printed molds for complex solid fuel block geometries of hybrid rocket engines is investigated. Additively produced molds offer more degrees of freedom in designing an optimized but easy to manufacture mold. The solid fuel used for this demonstration was hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB). Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was chosen as the mold material due to its good dissolving characteristics. It is shown that conventional and complex geometries can be produced reliably with the presented methods. In addition to the manufacturing process, this article presents several engine tests with different fuel grain geometries, including a short overview of the test bed, the engine and first tests.