market > Space & 3D Printed Parts

Thermal Processing for Space & Additive Manufacturing

Precision heat treating that pushes the limits of what’s possible.

Request a Quote

Launching the Space Race 2.0

Commercial space travel, exploration, multiplanetary life—and the infrastructure to support it all—are closer to reality than ever. While many private sector companies are racing to plant a flag in space, it’s the early adopters of additive manufacturing and specialized heat treating that lead the way. Advanced thermal processing capabilities make it possible for materials and part manufacturers to push limits of material properties and human capability.

High-Level Flexibility

Innovative materials and applications can give you a competitive edge in the race to space. But even as 3D-printed and proprietary materials are brought to the forefront of space development, some industry partners are slow to jump on board. Most thermal processors aren’t focused on the future like you are, and will attempt to force your parts into coach cycles to get the job done. Paulo is breaking that mold with a highly adaptive, customized process that meets your standards to help you bring innovation to life.

Precision & Repeatability

There’s no room for error or inefficiency when bringing safety-critical components to space. The stakes are simply too high, 3D materials too expensive, and lead times already too long. To ensure your parts stay within spec, our automatic processing technology and advanced sensors closely monitor every variable in a heating cycle. We also use strategic part scheduling to maximize our capacity and capability to deliver on tight deadlines.

Research & Development Support

As an early adopter of AM, you’re leading the industry beyond convention to discover new materials for sustaining life in space. Finding heat treaters to join you on that mission can be a huge challenge. At Paulo, we are committed to fostering strong R&D partnerships. We focus on finding repeatable, production-ready, scalable solutions from the start. And we’ll collaborate with universities and other partnering institutions in your R&D process to move you toward viable space part production.

Datagineering

Pushing material properties to their absolute maximum is essential for tapping into the industry’s mainstay materials for new space applications. And to make your components production-ready, you need data that proves these components are up to spec. Our advanced equipment is modified with more sensors than other heat processors that allow us to track and certify the quality of your components.

Thermal Processing Capabilities for Space

Our Cleveland Division provides high-precision hot isostatic pressing, vacuum heat treating, and other secondary processes to help our partners venture beyond traditional material recipes, establish standards for space, and advance the adoption of additive manufacturing within our industry.

Hot Isostatic Pressing

Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) is the go-to heat treating method for pushing the property limits of proprietary materials and additively manufactured parts. HIP is used to achieve 100% theoretical density in 3D printed material, maximizing the fatigue resistance and ductility of parts for space.

Many aluminum and titanium alloys will start with HIP and move onto additional processes such as solution, vacuum, stress relief, age, or anneal.

High Pressure Heat Treating

High pressure heat treating (HPHT) is a process that combines hot isostatic pressing and solution treating into a single step and can improve turnaround time.

In some cases where a component will go onto secondary manufacturing after heat treating, HPHT can cause the material to become too hard. An intermediate process such as annealing is required for bringing the tensile strength back into the appropriate range.

Vacuum Heat Treating

Vacuum heat treating includes a broad range of heat treating processes that are ideal for treating mission-critical space parts. Our vacuum furnaces provide a tightly controlled environment that reduces the risk of chemical contamination during treatment, along with providing uniform gas quenching and annealing capabilities. 

Our Cleveland Division houses many vacuum furnaces that are computer controlled to keep parts error free and moving efficiently through our facility. 

Gas Quenching

Most additively manufactured parts we process require quenching at the end of the solution treating process. For space applications, preventing oxidation is key, so gas quenching (vacuum) is preferred over solution quenching.

This process starts by heating the metal to enhance tensile and yield strength, and then rapidly cooled to preserve those properties. The method used for quenching varies depending on the application and which metal-based material you’re treating.

Vacuum brazing

Vacuum brazing is a precise technique used across many industries for high-precision joining of intricate part components to achieve complex geometries. This process is not widely used in space and additive manufacturing applications. 3D printing has unique capabilities that enable us to achieve complex geometries and incorporate the brazing technique when parts are printed. 

The two primary applications for space that still use vacuum brazing are cooling jackets and cooling plates.

Hot Isostatic Pressing

High Pressure Heat Treating

Vacuum Heat Treating

Gas Quenching

Vacuum brazing

Hot Isostatic Pressing

Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) is the go-to heat treating method for pushing the property limits of proprietary materials and additively manufactured parts. HIP is used to achieve 100% theoretical density in 3D printed material, maximizing the fatigue resistance and ductility of parts for space.

Many aluminum and titanium alloys will start with HIP and move onto additional processes such as solution, vacuum, stress relief, age, or anneal.

High Pressure Heat Treating

High pressure heat treating (HPHT) is a process that combines hot isostatic pressing and solution treating into a single step and can improve turnaround time.

In some cases where a component will go onto secondary manufacturing after heat treating, HPHT can cause the material to become too hard. An intermediate process such as annealing is required for bringing the tensile strength back into the appropriate range.

Vacuum Heat Treating

Vacuum heat treating includes a broad range of heat treating processes that are ideal for treating mission-critical space parts. Our vacuum furnaces provide a tightly controlled environment that reduces the risk of chemical contamination during treatment, along with providing uniform gas quenching and annealing capabilities. 

Our Cleveland Division houses many vacuum furnaces that are computer controlled to keep parts error free and moving efficiently through our facility. 

Gas Quenching

Most additively manufactured parts we process require quenching at the end of the solution treating process. For space applications, preventing oxidation is key, so gas quenching (vacuum) is preferred over solution quenching.

This process starts by heating the metal to enhance tensile and yield strength, and then rapidly cooled to preserve those properties. The method used for quenching varies depending on the application and which metal-based material you’re treating.

Vacuum brazing

Vacuum brazing is a precise technique used across many industries for high-precision joining of intricate part components to achieve complex geometries. This process is not widely used in space and additive manufacturing applications. 3D printing has unique capabilities that enable us to achieve complex geometries and incorporate the brazing technique when parts are printed. 

The two primary applications for space that still use vacuum brazing are cooling jackets and cooling plates.

Space Parts We Process

Since NASA’s first launch of Space Shuttle Columbia, space travel has relied on durable parts for safe launch, orbit, and return home. Countless rocket booster fuel pump components and other parts from those space missions were heat treated right here at Paulo. 

Today, we’re helping private sector partners launch into this new era of space with heat-treated parts for rockets, satellites, and shuttles.

  • Volute
  • Turbine manifolds
  • Bearing houses
  • Fuel inlets
  • Housings, support housings
  • Bearing supports
  • Turbo components

Common 3D Printed Materials for Space

New proprietary materials are being explored by space manufacturers everyday. Our advanced metallurgy team is working alongside to discover production-ready cycles that will launch these innovations into space. These are the most commonly used materials for 3D printed space components today.

  • Inconel 718, 625
  • Aluminum F357
  • Titanium 6Al-4V
  • Hastelloy C22

Locations Serving Space

Cleveland

Approvals

  • SpaceX
  • Blue Origin

Certifications

  • Nadcap Heat Treating
  • Nadcap HIP
  • AS9100
  • ITAR

Certifications & Approvals

Our Cleveland Division is Nadcap and AS9100 certified. We also have approvals from several manufacturers on the forefront of space commercialization and discovery. See our full list of our approvals and certifications.

View All

TRUST YOUR SPACE PARTS TO PAULO

If you’re looking for an AM thermal processing partner who can help you achieve viable space part production, our team can help. Connect with a Paulo expert today and let’s solve your biggest challenges together.

Get Started
en_USEnglish
Send this to a friend