Constructing Spacecraft Components Using Additive Manufacturing and Atomic Layer Deposition: First Steps for Integrated Electric Circuitry

Leo Nyman*, Antti Kestilä, Paavo Porri, Marko Pudas, Mika Salmi, Rudolf Silander, Ville Miikkulainen, Mikko Kaipio, Esa Kallio, Mikko Ritala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Many fields, including the aerospace industry, have shown increased interest in the use of plastics to lower the mass of systems. However, the use of plastics in space can be challenging for a number of reasons. Ultraviolet radiation, atomic oxygen, and other phenomena specifically associated with space cause the degradation of polymers. Here we show a path toward creation of space-grade components by combining additive manufacturing (AM) and atomic layer deposition (ALD). Our method produced ALD Al2O3 coated thermoplastic parts suitable for space applications. The highlight of this work is a significant reduction in outgassing, demonstrated using residual gas analyzer (RGA) sampling. Compared to uncoated parts, the ALD Al2O3 coating decreased the outgassing of polyether ether ketone (PEEK), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), and nanodiamond-doped polylactide (ND-PLA) by 46%, 49%, 58%, and 65%, respectively. The manufacturing method used in this work enables the use of topology optimization already in the early concept creation phase. The method is ideally suited for spacecraft applications, in which the volume and mass of parts is critical, and could also be adapted for in-space manufacturing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04021049
Number of pages12
JournalJOURNAL OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Spacecraft
  • Atomic layer deposition (ALD)
  • Additive manufacturing (AM)
  • Material extrusion
  • Fused filament fabrication
  • Fused deposition modeling

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