The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is making its way into the space industry, working with Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus DS) and TWI Ltd to bring the manufacture of space propellant tanks back to the UK.
In a two-year collaboration funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the AFRC is using its expertise in forming and forging to advise Airbus DS on advanced manufacturing methods for the tanks.
Ways to make the design more efficient and economical will be explored, chiefly by producing the initial component at as near to net-shape as possible, substantially reducing machining time and the waste of expensive metals such as titanium. Formerly produced in the UK, Airbus DS currently purchases its fuel tanks from Germany or the US. Key to the project is bringing production back to the UK and sharing outputs with the wider supply chain.
For further information www.strath.ac.uk/research