GE Aviation Completes Latest Round of CMC Testing
GE Aviation recently announced it completed the second phase of GE9X CMC component testing.
GE Aviation recently announced that the second phase of GE9X ceramic matrix composite (CMC) component testing in a GEnx demonstrator engine is complete. The demonstrator engine accumulated 1,800 cycles in the latest round of tests, which included exposure to harsh environmental conditions of dust and debris. The level of debris exposure was equivalent to about 3,000 take-off and landing operation cycles.
“Dust and debris accumulate on the external surface of the airfoils and can degrade the insulation coatings,” said Ted Ingling, GE9X general manager at GE Aviation. “They can also collect on internal cooling circuits of the blades and nozzles and degrade the cooling effectiveness. Both factors can lead to durability issues. These demonstrator tests allow us to get an accelerated understanding of how our new designs and materials perform in all environments, including those prone to high airborne debris.”
For the second round of tests, the GEnx demonstrator engine used the same CMC combustor liners, HPT stage 1 shrouds, and HPT stage 2 nozzles from the first round of tests in September 2015, with the addition of HPT stage 1 CMC nozzles. The GEnx CMC demonstrator engine reportedly also incorporated non-CMC GE9X parts, including 3D-additive manufactured, lightweight, low-pressure-turbine titanium aluminide (TiAl) blades produced at Avio Aero and next-generation HPT stage 1 blades with advance cooling technology. The next-generation HPT blades reportedly use a proprietary process invented at GRC and industrialized at the GE Aviation’s cores and castings facility in Dayton, Ohio.
The GE9X engine reportedly will be in the 100,000-lb thrust class and will have a 134 in.-diameter front fan with a composite fan case and 16 fourth-generation carbon fiber composite fan blades. Other key features include: a next-generation 27:1 pressure ratio, 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a third-generation TAPS III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and CMC material in the combustor and turbine. Certification testing on the GE9X program and flight testing on GE Aviation’s flying test bed will begin in the first half of 2017. Engine certification is expected in 2018.
For more information, visit www.geaviation.com.