Safran S.A., Paris, France, has opened its new research centre for advanced turbine blades used in airplane and helicopter engines at its plant in Gennevilliers, near Paris. The ceremony was attended by Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces; Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defence; and Philippe Petitcolin, CEO of Safran.
The research facility is part of the corporate Research & Technology Center, Safran Tech. Housed in a 3,000 m2 (32,400 ft2) building, the new research unit is staffed by about thirty engineers and doctoral candidates and is fitted with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment for the development of next-generation, very high-performance turbine blades.
The new unit will reportedly deploy Safran’s proven expertise alongside innovative technologies such as multidisciplinary design, single-crystal casting, ceramic cores, thermal coatings, cooling circuits, digitised processes, self-adapting micro-drilling and non-destructive testing based on artificial intelligence. The company is also active in the development of Metal Injection Moulding for aerospace applications.
The turbine blades developed at the centre will reportedly be incorporated on the Rafael’s current engines to improve aircraft dispatch reliability and reduce through-life maintenance and production costs. The technologies developed by this centre will also be used on the future high-performance engine from Safran Aircraft Engines, the French-German Future Combat Air System (FCAS). In addition, the centre will develop technologies for use on civil aircraft engines and helicopter engines.
During the inauguration, Florence Parly and Philippe Petitcolin signed the renewal of the SME Action support agreement, witnessed by three SMEs: Outillage, Chesneau and MSC Scanning, all suppliers to the research centre. Gennevilliers is one of Safran’s ‘legacy sites’, having been in operation for 110 years. Located about 15 km northwest of Paris, it provides forging, casting and machining services for engine parts from Safran Aircraft Engines, and is organised into three centres of excellence: turbine blades, compressor blades and rotating parts