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Breadboard development for in-orbit demonstration of additive layer manufacturing technologies - expro plus.

Tenders are invited for: Breadboard development for in-orbit demonstration of additive layer manufacturing technologies - expro plus.

The objective of this activity is the design development and testing of a fully functioning breadboard model for additive layer manufacturing (ALM) for potential in-flight demonstration aboard the ISS. This development should make use of commercially available state of the art ALM technologies and modify them fit for purpose to function under the constraints of the ISS inhabited environment considering interface requirements safety and microgravity. During a past GSP contract (4000102112) it was demonstrated that ALM provides significant added value for space missions for the manufacturing or repair of spare parts consumables tools etc. Since ALM technology is designed to work on ground many of these processes are g-sensitive. Whereas this would still enable them with little modification to be used under reduced gravity such as the moon the EAA--gravity environment aboard the ISS provides an additional challenge. It is intuitively the logical step to select those technologies that are not gravity sensitive. Indeed NASA has performed successful parabolic flights with Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) that extrudes a molten polymer filament from a nozzle and Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication (EBF3) a layer additive process using a wire feedstock into an electron beam. Other technologies are available that provide much larger flexibility on the design e.g. powder sintering processes whose application in a EAA--gravity environment are less obvious but not necessarily impossible. The objective of this activity is therefore not to perform a trade-off on paper for technologies that are already fit for the EAA--gravity environment but to allow modifications in the hardware design to make them fit for purpose. With this degree of flexibility the most versatile ALM process will be realised. The activity shall lead to the development of a laboratory breadboard which demonstrates functional performance as well as its performance under EAA--gravity conditions the latter may be tested by relative simple means such as reversing the direction of the gravity vector. Based on the performance a parabolic flight experiment to verify performance under EAA--gravity conditions shall be proposed. Procurement Policy: C(2) = A relevant participation (in terms of quality and quantity) of non-primes (incl. SMEs) is required. For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes SMEs and R&D entities in ESA programmes".

Price Range: 200-500 keuro

Closing Date: 09/12/2014

Tender documents : T24465235.html

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 29, 2014
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