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How to Produce a Jet Engine Blade via Automated Fiber Placement (AFP)?

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

In this blog, we will explore about

  1. What is a Jet Engine

  2. What parts are currently made using AFP

  3. Programming the blade layup for AFP

  4. How to set up a blade-making facility

What is a Jet Engine?

A turbofan is a type of air-breathing jet engine that is widely used in aircraft propulsion. A turbofan engine is the most modern variation of the basic gas turbine engine. As with other gas turbines, there is a core engine, but in the turbofan engine, the core engine is surrounded by a fan in the front which sucks in air, and additional turbine(s) at the rear for exhaust. Most of the air flows around the outside of the engine, making it quieter and giving more thrust at low speeds. Most of today's airliners are powered by turbofans. Such engines have many components and we will focus on the components that are made using continuous fiber composites.

Which components are made with AFP today?

A leader in the jet engines, Rolls-Royce has recently set up a facility to make fan blades and containment casings using the automated fiber placement process. They used Accudyne and Mtoress AFP systems to make the fan blades and containment casing respectively.

 Rolls-Royce Advance and UltraFan
Rolls-Royce Advance and UltraFan (Source: Rolls-Royce plc)