SpaceX Casting Raptor Engine Parts from Supersteel Alloys

SpaceX Casting Raptor Engine Parts from Supersteel Alloys

Brian Wang |
February 18, 2019 |

SpaceX is developing stronger steel superalloys. SpaceX is making improved versions of Inconel alloys.

SpaceX metallurgy team developed SX500 superalloy for 12000 psi, hot oxygen-rich gas. It was hard. Almost any metal turns into a flare in those conditions.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2018

Inconel is a family of austenitic nickel-chromium-based superalloys. Inconel alloys are heat and oxidation resistant materials. SpaceX is making its Raptor engine manifold out of Inconel.

Inconel has been used for over 60 years in rockets and spaceplanes.

The skin of the X-15 Rocket-powered aircraft was made out of Inconel X. The X-15 first flew in 1959.

Inconel X-750 was used for the thrust chamber of F-1 rocket engine used in the first stage of the Saturn V.

The Space Shuttle used four Inconel studs to secure the solid rocket boosters to the launch platform, eight total studs supported the entire weight of the ready to fly Shuttle system.

SpaceX has used Inconel in the engine manifold of their Merlin rocket engine in the Falcon 9 and in the SpaceX SuperDraco rocket engine for the Dragon V2.

SpaceX foundry casting Raptor engine manifold out of Inconel

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2019

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2019

SX 300 & soon SX 500. Kind of a modern version of Inconel superalloys. High strength at temperature, extreme oxidation resistance. Needed for ~800 atmosphere, hot, oxygen-rich turbopump on Raptor rocket engine.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 17, 2018

SOURCES- Elon Musk, Twitter

Written By Brian Wang.

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