Project MTA-ESA

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The goal is to conduct a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for a novel spacecraft propellant tank manufacturing method, for the European Space Agency (ESA), minimizing machining and friction stir welding through innovative metal forming techniques, pioneered by NOVA FCT and two German manufacturers.

Starting Date: aug 2023

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In conjunction with NOVA FCT, two German manufacturing companies have developed a new method for manufacturing propellant tanks for the and European Space Agency that reduces the need for machining and friction stir welding processes.

This approach involves manufacturing a tank half starting from a single metal plate, using innovative and advanced metal forming processes followed by orbital welding of two tank halves.

The AFT project introduced a groundbreaking approach, utilizing advanced techniques like Hot Stretch Forming, Magnetic Pulse Forming, Hub Forming, Spinning, and Integrated Stiffened Cylinder Flow Forming to shape a tank half from a single metal plate.

The objective is to conduct a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), comparing the environmental impacts of the traditional and AFT-based methods using AA2219 aluminum alloy as a reference. This groundbreaking project signifies a significant leap toward environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness in spacecraft propellant tank manufacturing.