Two GE Aviation facilities producing advanced jet engine components recently passed major manufacturing milestones. GE Aviation’s Asheville, North Carolina, facility recently shipped its 100,000th turbine shroud made from Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) materials, while the Auburn, Alabama, facility recently shipped its 100,000th additively manufactured fuel nozzle tip. The Asheville facility, which began producing CMCs in 2014, is the aviation industry’s first mass manufacturing site for jet engine components made from Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs). The Auburn site began producing fuel nozzles in 2015 and was the industry’s first mass manufacturing site for producing aircraft engine parts using additive manufacturing.
Both parts are made for the CFM LEAP engine, which entered revenue service in 2016 and surpassed 10 million flight hours earlier this year. The fleet is providing operators with 15 percent better fuel efficiency than previous generation engines. Each engine has 18 shrouds and 18 or 19 fuel nozzles, depending on the specific model.
In Asheville and Auburn, GE Aviation employees helped establish new processes to mass produce parts with CMC materials and additive methods, then scaled the technology over time, while improving and maintaining production quality.
“We’re proud to deliver our 100,000th CMC turbine shroud in support of the LEAP engine,” said Ed Orear, composites general manager for GE Aviation. “This milestone is a testament to GE Aviation’s commitment to produce the leading aviation materials technologies. This achievement could not have happened without the great production teams in Asheville and Huntsville, supported by GE’s incredible engineering teams at GE Aviation and GE Research.”