Asociación de fabricación aditiva
Asociación de fabricación aditiva

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06 July, 2023

Space technology and science are drivers of a country's economic, industrial, technological and scientific development. A knowledge-based society is based on the invention process and the development of space technology poses real engineering challenges whose resolution has an impact on our daily life and on major markets, since it reinforces technological competitiveness.

The HIPERION project, run by the GAIKER Technology Centre and the Basque Research & Technology Alliance (BRTA), was created with the aim of strengthening and promoting technology and space science research and, thus, helping Basque companies in the sector to enhance their positioning. With this goal, the work has entailed developing technologies and techniques to meet the scientific and technological needs of future planetary missions.

The line of research of this project in which GAIKER has collaborated has been to develop new materials that are lighter but extremely resistant to fatigue and impact, which over time can replace the metal materials currently used in the sector.

In this line, FMLs have been developed (Fibre-Metal Laminates), which are hybrid composites made from carbon prepreg and aluminium in metal-composite-metal deposition. To achieve this, the initial work was to analyse and improve metal-composite adhesion by performing treatments like anodisation or acid treatment and then analysis based on the characterisation of SEM, confocal and goniometric microscopy. This has led to promising results, with good adhesion between the layers.

On the other hand, in order to keep the morphological and mechanical properties of these materials intact at extreme temperatures (175ºC - 200ºC), these FMLs have been manufactured using the vacuum moulding process, a more energy-efficient process than other alternatives and one that provides enhanced mechanical properties. In addition, work was conducted to ensure that performance both in terms of fatigue and mechanics meets the requirements of the ESA (European Space Agency), in order to be able to replace metal materials with these new hybrid materials in the future.

Financed by the Basque Government, HIPERION is the first project in the ELKARTEK programme to be entirely dedicated to space.



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