ESA-RAL Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory

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Located on the UK Space Gateway, Harwell Campus, the ESA-RAL Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory provides expertise and test services to investigate and optimise advanced materials and manufacturing processes in support of cutting-edge research and development. The facility is physically located within the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL).

The laboratory takes in samples of material destined for future space projects and puts them through various tests. A wide range of material properties and characteristics can be investigated in order to provide recommendations on how the materials can best be applied or improved before they can be considered for further development and used in a fully-fledged space mission. It has access to a metal-based 3D printer and is equipped with a suite of powerful microscopes, an X-ray CT machine and a range of furnaces.

Mechanical testing such as tensile and micro hardness testing is also performed.The lab is a gateway to accessing some of the extensive on-site testing facilities based on Harwell Campus, such as STFC’s ISIS Neutron Source, the Diamond Light Source synchrotron and the UK’s Central Laser Facility.

More about the new lab on our website:
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/New_lab_for_advanced_manufacturing_techniques_and_materials

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4 Comments

  1. Well that was boring as shit and gave next to no useful information. Some of that stuff looked cool though & I would have loved to hear more about it then just a headline!

  2. Really nice facility you have. Although this video just barely scratched the surface, I'm glad to see more insights in how things are prepared and done on a technological level. Lookin' forward to seeing more of such videos, next time hopefully with more explanations. 😉

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