GENERICO.ruScienceComposites printed on the ISS will be tested for strength in Tomsk

Composites printed on the ISS will be tested for strength in Tomsk

NOVOSIBIRSK, December 6 Specialists from Tomsk State University (TSU) will test the strength and study other characteristics of composite blades printed on the first Russian 3D printer on the International Space Station (ISS), the university reports.
TSU explained that blades printed on a printer in space are a standard for studying the strength and other properties of composite products printed on 3D printers and then used in scientific experiments with new materials. They were handed over to the Governor of the Tomsk Region Vladimir Mazur by test cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev at VDNKh as part of the international exhibition and forum “Russia”. Returning to Tomsk, the head of the region donated the blades to the university.

“The new shift of cosmonauts on the ISS no longer printed just various samples that were previously given as souvenirs to experiment participants. Now, as part of scientific work, a series of blades have been printed to study their physical and mechanical characteristics. Using special equipment, we will test them for strength, tearing them apart thin part and tracking under what loads this happens,” TSU quoted Alexander Vorozhtsov, vice-rector for scientific and innovative activities, as saying.

He noted that scientists will compare blades printed in space with analogues printed on Earth. Experts suggest that samples from space will be of higher quality, since in the absence of gravity, any material for 3D printing is distributed more evenly.
The university recalled that scientists and engineers from TSU, Tomsk Polytechnic University and the leading enterprise for manned space exploration in Russia, RSC Energia, worked on the creation of the country's first space 3D printer for manufacturing parts and tools on board the ISS. The experiment with a 3D printer is dedicated to testing additive technologies for the production of products from polymer materials in space conditions. In the future, the use of these technologies will allow astronauts at near-Earth orbital stations to produce the necessary parts and tools directly in space, without waiting for their delivery on transport ships from Earth.
The 3D printer was delivered to the ISS for experiments in June 2022. In early autumn, the first Russian crew members tested it on board the station, printing 19 different samples. In February 2023, Oleg Artemyev, following a working visit to TSU, proposed creating equipment that would help obtain strong, refractory materials directly on board the ISS for repair and restoration work, which the station requires from time to time. A team of TSU researchers took the idea for development.
The development of new composite materials and materials with specified properties, as well as the introduction of additive technologies in various industries, is carried out at TSU with the support of the strategic project “Safety Technologies” within the framework of the federal program “Priority 2030”.

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