Transforming Aerospace with Advanced Additive Manufacturing

rocket launching into space.


In aerospace engineering, innovation is a key to success in elevating performance and revolutionizing design and manufacturing processes. Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are transforming the industry by withstanding extreme temperatures and harsh environments, making them perfect for critical aerospace components. However, traditional manufacturing methods for CMCs, such as silicon infiltration, chemical vapor deposition, and polymer pyrolysis, face challenges related to cost, time, and scalability.

The Promise of Additive Manufacturing

Breakthroughs include:

  • Photocurable Preceramic Polymer Resins: Filled with pitch and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based milled fibers.
  • High Fiber Content: Maintains geometric accuracy while reducing manufacturing time and costs.

Key Study: Anderson and McClain (2024) highlight additive manufacturing as a solution for fabricating CMCs efficiently, specifically through the use of photocurable preceramic polymer resins filled with pitch and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based milled fibers to retain geometric accuracy while potentially reducing manufacturing time and costs.

FlackTek™’s Role in Advancing CMCs

FlackTek’s Contribution:

  • Precise and Homogeneous Mixing: Enabling high-viscosity preceramic resins and fibers.
  • Uniform Fiber Distribution: Ensuring optimal material properties and printability.

Key Achievement: Photocurable mixtures with up to 40 wt.% fiber content, suitable for 3D printing applications such as rocket nozzles and thermal protection systems.

Case Study: Optimizing Photocurable Resin Formulations

Rapid Prototyping with FlackTek’s Technology:

  • Adjusting Fiber Content and Type: Optimizes mechanical properties and printability.
  • Efficient Mixing: No air bubbles, maintaining fibers’ integrity.

Significance: Ensures performance characteristics critical for aerospace applications where material reliability is essential.

Impact on Aerospace Manufacturing

Benefits of integrating FlackTek’s technology:

  • Reduced Time and Cost: For producing aerospace components.
  • Agile Manufacturing Process: Enables design and production of complex geometries.
  • Accelerated Innovation Cycle: Enhances performance and safety of aerospace vehicles.


FlackTek understands Aerospace.  The collaboration between our innovative processing technologies and cutting-edge research in additive manufacturing of CMCs marks a significant leap forward for the industry. Embracing these advancements will lead to more efficient, flexible, and cost-effective production methods, paving the way for next-generation aerospace components and systems that fly faster, further, and safer.