GE Aviation has outlined the progress of its ceramic matrix composites (CMC) facilities in Huntsville, Alabama.
Two facilities will produce up to 44,092 lb. (20,000 kg) of CMC material a year. One facility will produce silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic fiber, and the other CMC prepeg factory will use the SiC ceramic fiber to make unidirectional CMC prepeg necessary to fabricate the SMS CMC components.
The factories are anticipated to be complete by the summer of 2018 and the spring of 2019, respectively. The ground-breaking ceremony was held in June 2016.
Currently, there are 24 employees on the Huntsville team, but the plants are expected to employ up to 300 people when fully operational.
Licensing the fiber-producing technology from NGS Advanced Fibers Co. in Toyama, Japan, the fiber customers will include the U.S. Defense Department, GE businesses, Safran, and NGS partners will have the opportunity to be equity partners.
CMCs are used in the high-pressure turbine section of the Leap, GE9X, military GE3000 and the demonstrator Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) engines.
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