Rolls-Royce establishes new carbon fiber composite productio
Rolls-Royce will set up a new production and research base in Bristol, UK. The base aims to develop composite fan blades and fan cases to significantly reduce the weight of aircraft engines, reduce fuel consumption and achieve emission reduction targets.
Rolls-Royce plans to manufacture fan blades and fan cases for the UltraFan engine demonstration prototype at the new R & D base. Compared to the first-generation Trent engine, the new design of the UltraFan engine reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by at least 25%.
The new base will use low-energy, extremely low-emission processes and the most advanced automated manufacturing technologies and materials to minimize waste of raw materials. Rolls-Royce is committed to achieving zero emissions (excluding power generation and test operations) in its daily operations and manufacturing plants by 2030.
Rolls-Royce plays a vital role in the transition to a near-zero low-carbon economy, and has formulated 3 measures to this end: 1) reducing the environmental impact of existing technologies; 2) pioneering the electrification of aviation power; Work with the industry to accelerate the use of renewable fuels.
"The establishment of this production R & D base reflects the company's commitment to creating cleaner and more efficient forms of power. Our employees are skilled and they will use the latest technology, Materials and processes to develop components that will contribute to lighter, quieter, more powerful aero engines. "
The base will focus on the development and application of carbon fiber composite materials. These materials are used in the aerospace industry to significantly reduce weight. The lighter the engine, the less fuel it needs and the less emissions it generates. The Rolls-Royce fan system made of carbon fiber composite material can reduce the weight of each aircraft by nearly 700 kilograms, equivalent to the weight of seven passengers and their luggage.
Rollo also plans to use advanced composite fan blade manufacturing technology in the new base: first hundreds of layers of carbon fiber material are laid, then impregnated with advanced toughening resin, followed by hot pressing, and finally in each fan blade. The leading edge is coated with a thin and strong titanium alloy to provide excellent protection for the engine fan from damage caused by corrosion, foreign bodies and bird strikes.
Starting in January, the new base will begin manufacturing fan blades and fan cases for the UltraFan engine demonstration prototype. At present, the composite fan system for the UltraFan engine demonstration prototype has begun to take shape. Most parts have completed aerodynamic performance, bird strike, tolerance, ice and water swallow tests, and ground and flight tests.
Rolls-Royce has been engaged in the development of carbon fiber technology for decades and has used it in the production of engine parts. The new base will use manufacturing technology developed in collaboration with the National Bristol Composites Centre and relevant research results conducted at the Rolls-Royce Technology Centre at the University of Bristol and several other universities and research centres in the UK and Europe to bring composites to aviation The application level on the engine has been raised to new heights.
The base will provide Bristol with 150 jobs and relocate the existing composite production facility and about 30 employees from the Rolls-Royce Isle of Wight plant.
Since 2008, the UK government has provided funding and support for Rolls-Royce's research and development of composite materials technology, including £ 7.4 million for the Isle of Wight plant. The equipment from the plant has been further optimized and developed at the new base in Bristol.