Morgan’s Ceramic Cores Help Create Hollow Turbine Blades for China’s First Jet Engine
Morgan has developed the ceramic cores that are essential for the creation of hollow air passages in the engine’s turbine blades.
The completion of China’s first turbofan jetliner engine has been achieved with the manufacturing support of Morgan Advanced Materials’ Technical Ceramics Business. Morgan has developed the ceramic cores that are essential for the creation of hollow air passages in the engine’s turbine blades. The CJ-1000A engine is being developed for China’s first passenger jet—the COMAC C919—which is due to be rolled out beginning in 2020. The new engine will replace the imported engines that were used during the airplane’s development.
The engine design uses hollow turbine blades and vanes to reduce overall weight and provide internal cooling passages to prevent the blades overheating when in use. To achieve hollow blades with the required combination of light weight and robustness, ceramic cores are placed in the center of the mold during the casting of the components. Morgan Advanced Materials was commissioned to create these ceramic cores at its ceramic core manufacturing facility in Wuxi, Jiangsu.
Morgan worked with the engine manufacturers and designers to achieve the exact dimensions required for the internal cooling passages. The cores are manufactured in heat-resistant materials that can withstand the casting process without compromising the integrity of each blade’s superalloy construction. Once cast, the ceramic core is leached out to leave the blade hollow.
In total, Morgan has supplied four core designs to support the casting of stage-one and stage-two blades and vanes. To date, over 1,000 individual cores have been manufactured. These numbers will rise when the aircraft enters mass production, as 600 engines per year will be required to meet the forecasted target of 150 aircraft a year.
“This is a groundbreaking project for the Chinese aerospace industry, and we’re delighted to play such an important part in getting this pioneering engine into production,” said Raymond Gao, general manager of Morgan’s Ceramic Core Technology facility, which has manufactured the components for the project.
Additional information is available at www.morgantechnicalceramics.com/aerospacecores.