SAMULET II Project 9: Composite Fan System Manufacturing Development
The focus of this Rolls-Royce led project was to develop world-leading composite technology and manufacturing techniques for the next generation of engine design. These high-technology lightweight components have the potential to significantly improve the fuel consumption and emissions of future aircraft.
The Rolls-Royce CTi (carbon/titanium) blades are a key feature of the advance engine design, which will offer 20% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions than the first generation of Trent aero-engines; the blades and associated composite engine casings that help make up the CTi fan system could reduce weight by up to 1,500lb per aircraft – the equivalent of carrying seven more passengers.
Rolls-Royce has been working across a series of partnered programmes (VITAL, ELF, SILOET2 P14, SILOET2 P3, SAMULET2 P9) to develop both composite fan blade and containment casing engineering technology and manufacturing technology for engine demonstration (SAGE). Specifically, here, Rolls-Royce worked with the National Composites Centre (NCC) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) to develop an automated method for manufacturing a composite fan system.
There is a need to focus investment on such technologies to support future, more efficient aero engines. The aim is for these technologies to be used in a production facility with other new technologies leading to benefits including; cost reduction, improving quality and reducing manufacturing times. The advances made in these programmes have given Rolls-Royce the confidence to invest in a new pre-production facility in Bristol.Download the SAMULET II Project 9: Composite Fan System Manufacturing Development case study