Project Title: Additive Manufacturing of Actively Cooled Thermal Shields

Acronym: AC-ACTS

Funding Entity: M-ERA.Net – Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI)

Participating Entities:  Universidad de Extremadura (Coordinator), Ibérica del Espacio SA, University West (Sweden), Questek Europe AB (Sweden), PROMES-CNRS (France)

Duration: 01/05/2022 – 31/04/2025

Budget: 1 040 032,00 €    (UEX: 287 500 €)

Coordinator and UEX Principal Investigator (PI): Pedro Miranda

Number of researchers: 7 (UEX)


High-temperature Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) are critical in many industrial applications (aerospace, energy generation, etc.), and they typically rely on passive thermal insulation, which is limited by the oxidation and ablation resistance of their constituent materials. AM-ACTS project will develop novel high-performance thermal shields that can be actively cooled by circulating an appropriate fluid through a bioinspired internal microchannel network created during the additive fabrication (3D printing) of the TPS elements from ultra-high temperature ceramics and refractory metals. This will enable the sustainable and environmentally friendly production of atmospheric re-entry shields for reusable spacecrafts, turbine blades, rocket engines, reactor walls or solar receivers with improved maximum service temperature and/or service lifetime at that temperature, which could boost the energy efficiency and reduce maintenance costs in these and many other industrial applications.