Skin? Countersink drill? Here's the secret to how the rockets fly.

04 July 2022
At 10:44 on June 5, 2022, Beijing time, the Long March 2F Yao 14 carrier rocket carrying the Shenzhou 14 manned spacecraft was ignited and launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
About 577 seconds later, the Shenzhou 14 manned spacecraft and the rocket successfully separated and entered the predetermined orbit. With the successful docking with the radial port of the Tianhe core module, it marks the official start of the first manned mission after the Chinese space station mission has entered the construction stage.
Shenzhou 14 rocket launch
Shenzhou 14 sent three astronauts, Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe into space, starting a six-month space journey. It is worth mentioning that two of the astronauts are from Henan, so Shenzhou 14 is also affectionately called "Henan Special Train".
As a Henan enterprise, this is our pride and pride. At the same time, it also spurs us to contribute to the rapid development of our hometown and contribute to China's high-end manufacturing.
Then we will start the analysis from the shell of Shenzhou No. 14. The technical term for the shell of the rocket is called "skin". Everyone may think that this layer of skin must be very thick, otherwise it cannot support such a huge body. In fact, the skin of the rocket is only 1.2-2mm thick, and the thinnest part of the fairing skin is only 0.3mm.
Why is the skin of the rocket designed so thin? The main purpose is to reduce weight and increase the payload of the rocket.
rocket skin
Is such a thin skin strong enough? Can it hold up the entire rocket?
The main material of the skin is high-strength aluminum alloy material, which has the characteristics of high strength, corrosion resistance, light weight and low cost. In addition to the skin, the rocket's skin includes stringers and frame rings. Stringers and frame rings form a cylindrical frame that is riveted to the skin. The skin maintains shape, transmits shear forces, and installs instrument cables; stringers provide longitudinal support. They are like the bamboo strips and lampshades in a lantern. After the designers went through force analysis and structural optimization, combining skin and stringer science, the rocket was covered with a thin and hard armor.
rocket skin
So how is the connection between each piece of skin and between the skin and the stringer?
The answer is "rivets". Yes, rivets. Because aluminum alloy is a material with extremely poor weldability, and local stress will be generated in the welding area, which will cause the metal to become brittle. In addition, blisters, bubbles, and even micro-cracks will occur during the welding process, which will affect the bonding strength. In addition, the skin is very thin, and the welding difficulty is relatively high.
Countersink drill    Countersink drill
Since it comes to rivets, it is inseparable from drilling. And how did you punch holes in the rocket skin?
In order to minimize the impact of air resistance and airflow on the rocket at high speed, the rocket skin needs to be very smooth and have high corrosion resistance. Therefore, high precision and smoothness are required when the skin is punched. At this point, diamond countersink drills with ultra-high precision, hardness and wear resistance are the obvious choice. It can maintain the service life of 600-1000 holes and ensure the consistency of processing. Coupled with the unique hardness of diamond, the machining accuracy is guaranteed.
MORESUPERHARD offers you top quality countersink drills that can be customized to your needs.
The ceramic diamond grinding wheel independently developed and produced by our company is also a powerful tool for processing high-precision countersink drills.
Thanks to the good sharpness of the grinding wheel, and our strict and precise control of raw materials and production processes, we ensure the high efficiency and the degree of control of extremely fine chipping required in the production of countersink drills.
At the same time, we also provide the level difference grinding wheel required for the level difference grinding of the countersink drill.
Provide one-stop solutions for cutting tool customers and make a modest contribution to China's aerospace industry.

---EDITOR: Owen Ma/Cynthia Lee

---POST: Cynthia Lee



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