The German government has awarded GE Aviation and GE’s Global Research Centre a research grant valued at more than $1 million to develop an advanced cold-spray manufacturing technology for jet engine components. The grant from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is the first ever received by GE Aviation and GE Global Research from the German federal government.
The process of cold spray manufacturing involves depositing powder materials at super-high velocities (up to Mach 4) onto a surface, to coat or build a solid part. This will allow heavy parts that are currently used in an engine to be replaced with much more lightweight material. Using the cold-spray process to coat or build these parts will improve jet engines, making them lighter and more fuel-efficient, and reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs.
The development will take place in collaboration with Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, and local technology companies. The objective is to begin producing engine components with the new technology by 2012 at GE Aviation’s pilot manufacturing site in Regensburg, Germany.