Ceramic matrix composites continue to spark interest in high-performance engineering markets – phenomenal growth is forecast in aerospace and defense, in particular, and North America is the leading market.
A number of leading exhibitors and speakers at Ceramics Expo & Conference 2018 will address the steady advance of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), and rightly so as they remain an exciting materials group loaded with potential.
The CMC market was already headed towards $2 billion by 2016 and authors of one of the more recent reports reckon that figure will hit $7.5 billion by 2026, so it’s most definitely serious business. This family of materials – whether it is C/C, oxide/oxide or the increasingly employed SiC/SiC – offers a game-changing combination of lighter weight, ultra-high temperature capabilities, high strength, reduced cooling requirements, dynamic load resistance, and 3D printing routes.
All studies on CMC production and use point to North America as the strongest market, particularly in view of the expanding US manufacturing programs in civil aircraft, military aircraft, space technology and travel, and defense sector requirements.
So, it was not surprising to hear just a few weeks ago that only five years after breaking ground in Asheville, NC, GE Aviation is investing an additional $105 million in the production facility there in order to meet growing demand for CMC component production. The company will expand the workforce at Asheville by 30% as well as creating additional jobs elsewhere in the U.S.
GE says that the demand for CMCs is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade, driven by rising jet engine production rates. As an example, each new LEAP engine, produced by CFM International (50/50 joint company of GE and Safran), has 18 CMC turbine shrouds, which are stationary parts in the high-pressure turbine that direct air and ensure turbine blade efficiency. LEAP production is accelerating quickly and more than 14,270 engines are currently on order. CMCs also are being used in the combustor and high-pressure turbine section of the new GE9X engine under development for the Boeing 777X twin-aisle aircraft. Almost 700 GE9X engines are on order.
Please don’t miss the opportunity to meet and speak to some of the world’s largest and most knowledgeable innovators and manufacturers in this area – you can see the fully up-to-date list
In addition to featured products of the future, there is of course our highly rated forum and speakers at Conference @ Ceramics Expo will include senior executives from Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA-Glenn Research Center, GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, and NGS Advanced Fibers. Particularly interesting sessions in this subject area start with the plenary at 10.30am on May 1, Forecasting the Future of Advanced Ceramic Materials, and follow with Industry Update – Reviewing the Status of Ceramic Matrix Composites Production and Application(3pm, Track 1, May 1), as well as Promoting the Adoption of Advanced Ceramic Materials as an Alternative to Traditional Materials(1.30pm, Track 2, May 2).