Case Study: Additive Manufacture of Combustion Chamber and Nozzle for Rocket Engine

Working with Protolaunch, HiETA Technologies have additively manufactured the combustion chamber and nozzle for the Protolaunch 10kN HILBERT rocket engine.

This engine uses a novel thermodynamic cycle to eliminate the need for complex turbomachinery, it improves reliability for customers and offers improved manufacturing scalability.

Additively manufactured rocket combustion chamber and nozzle

Protolaunch are a UK based, chemical propulsion company developing rocket engines for small launch applications. As a company, they continue to work with the European Space Agency and international launch partners to scale up and tailor their propulsion solutions ready for launch.

Protolaunch realised the potential of Additive Manufacturing to reduce the part count of their overall system and enable complex internal flow paths within the parts themselves. They required two large parts with complex internal geometry and challenging wall thickness requirements to be produced at short notice.

HiETA’s two sites in Bristol offer a comprehensive range of machines, including 4 x Renishaw 500Q systems, coupled with post-processing facilities which offered the flexibility and capability to give Protolaunch the speed and expertise they needed to meet their tight deadline and quality expectations.

Additively manufactured rocket combustion chamber in additive manufacturing machineThe highly skilled team of engineers at HiETA were able to advise and make the necessary design adjustments to allow these parts to benefit from the Additive Manufacturing process. The parts were subsequently manufactured using our refined & validated process parameters and machined to achieve the tight tolerances required.

The ability to offer a turnkey solution from start to finish makes working with HiETA technologies an attractive proposition, we have the skills, knowledge, and the commitment to ensure that your parts are produced on time, with high quality and at a competitive price.

“HiETA Technologies were able to deliver high-quality parts on time and to spec., this allowed Protolaunch to press ahead with a hugely successful hot-fire test campaign of the engine and hit our technical milestones on time.

By completing the AM build and post-machining from one supplier Protolaunch benefited from a single point of contact from submission of our initial designs through to the finished parts. Given the extreme conditions these parts were to be subjected to in the hot-fire test campaign, quality control was very important to us. HiETA were able to share the key quality metrics throughout the manufacturing process and demonstrate the integrity of the finished parts, the ultimate test came during the firings where the parts performed perfectly!”

At HiETA we offer a range of qualified materials enabling us to produce parts quickly, to a high standard of quality, with superior surface finish and at a highly competitive cost. Please contact us on the link here: to see how we could help with the rapid production of your parts.

Additively manufactured rocket nozzle