CW Blog

GE Aviation's new 13,000-m2 plant will produce 18 high-pressure turbine (HPT) Stage 1 shrouds per engine for 500 LEAP engines in 2017, ramping to 1,100 engines in 2018, and will exceed 36,000 shrouds per year for more than 2,000 engines by 2020. This one-of-a-kind production is part of the first vertically integrated supply chain for ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) in the US. Read more about CW's recent tour online: "Plant Tour: GE Aviation, Asheville, NC, US".

 

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CW’s Jeff Sloan reports from SAMPE 2017 (May 22-25; Seattle) about key highlights from the event. Check out the video below:

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SAMPE returned to Seattle, WA, US, May 22-25 and featured the usual mix of conference presentations and exhibit hall activity. CW was there and offers this summary of highlights from the event.

SAMPE 2017 kicked off officially on Tuesday morning with a keynote presentation by Rob Myerson, president of Blue Origin (Kent, WA, US), which is building a line of re-usable rockets to take people and material into space. Blue Origin’s first rocket is New Shepard, which, eventually, will be used to offer flights to carry up to six people to 100 km above the Earth for about 4 minutes of weightless flight, before returning to Earth via parachute landing. The BE-4 main rocket propelling New Shepard will be ejected after initial burn and return to a pre-designated landing site so that it can be re-used.

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This is the second blog in my multi-part series on Automated Preforming. In the series opener, Automated Preforming – The numbers and landscape, I introduced A+ Glide Forming and the SAMPE Long Beach 2016 paper “A+ Glide Forming System/Automatic Stringer Manufacturing Technology”. In this blog, I’ll go into more detail on the history and basics of the process, compare it to hot-drape forming, and look at its application to dry fiber and thermoplastic preforms.

One of the targets for automated preforming in aerospace composites is stiffening structures, such as stringers — which run the length of a composite fuselage or wing — and cross members such as wing ribs and fuselage frames. Stringers are typically long, narrow parts with some shaping. Fuselage stringers are typically omega sections measuring from 4-12 m in length while wings often use T-stringers which, for a large aircraft, may be up to 40 m long.

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