A LEAP toward composites

  • 14-Dec-2009 04:08 EST
7199_7431_ACT.jpg

On a test bench is the CFM LEAP-X eCore with fan blades and case made from resin transfer molding technology.

Advanced metallics and superalloys are found aplenty in the core of modern-day engines designed for performance and environmental efficiency.

Composite materials are working their way onto the engine, too, as evidenced by GE Aviation's GEnx's composite case—the first one in commercial aviation. France's Snecma is also making strides in finding new applications for composites on the engine—specifically for fan blades.

"The use of composite materials is very important in reducing fuel burn and CO2 emissions," said Francis Couillard, General Manager of Environmental Matters for Snecma. "They let us increase the temperature for thermal efficiency while reducing weight. If you reduce weight and fuel consumption, then you need to bring less fuel with you on the aircraft."

Employing 3-D woven resin transfer molding (RTM) technology, Snecma is building large, composite fan blades that can save as much as 1000 lb per aircraft on a twin-engine plane, according to Couillard.

The blades will go into CFM's LEAP-X eCore, which will also have a composite case made with the same RTM techniques. The LEAP-X fan will feature 18 blades, a 50% reduction vs. the CFM56-5C, and 25% fewer blades than the CFM56-7B.

If all goes as planned, the first LEAP-X demo engine test could be certified by 2016.

Share
HTML for Linking to Page
Page URL
Grade
Rate It
3.42 Avg. Rating

Read More Articles On

2016-08-23
After many years of flat-lining in the supply of new commercial jet engines—with improved models, but with designs dating back to the late 1990s, relying on a continuous path of evolutionary development—a new generation of super-efficient powerplants is entering service, introducing many technologies that will also be applied to future engines.
2016-12-05
SAE International is working with the joint-venture initiative looking to deploy a high-powered DC fast-charging network for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) covering long-distance travel routes in Europe.
2016-12-21
Fuel efficiency—and the economic and ecological benefits associated with it—continues to be the white rabbit of the global aviation industry. While engine builders look toward composites and electrification, and airframe designers toward lightweighting and aerodynamics, engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center recently completed testing of a novel concept: the boundary layer ingesting propulsor.
2017-02-21
S.S. White Technologies is supplying flexible rotary shafts for the Honeywell Aerospace Air Turbine Starter on the next-gen GE Aviation GE9X high-bypass turbofan engines.

Related Items

Training / Education
2013-04-09
Training / Education
2013-04-09
Training / Education
2013-04-09
Technical Paper / Journal Article
2010-10-19
Technical Paper / Journal Article
2010-10-25
Technical Paper / Journal Article
2010-10-19
Standard
1991-05-23
Training / Education
2013-04-09
Training / Education
2013-02-20