Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Do jet engines use composite materials?

Ironically, on the same day, the two largest jet engine / gas turbine manufacturers announced plans to partner with universities to develop and integrate the use of composite materials into their engines.

GE announced a partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi to develop composites for use in the GEnx engine, which will power Boeing's new 787 and 747-8. The partnership is receiving funding from a $2.4 million state grant. It also appears GE is adding $2.5 million to the funding. This is by no means underfunded tinkering, so it will be interesting to see their developments.

Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney announced an expanded partnership with Virginia Tech to design and develop components made of composites for their "advanced gas turbine engine propulsion." I'd be curious as to what parts of these engines they are looking to integrate ate composites into, and why.

Read the announcements:
PR Newswire

Photo Credit: Bleuchoi via flicker

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