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GE Aviation Tests the Largest Jet Engine in the World, Featuring 3D Printed Fuel Nozzles

by • April 24, 2016 • No Comments

logoGE_AviationA year ago, GE Aviation began incorporating 3D printed components into their jet engines for the initially time at any time, retrofitting hundreds of their GE90 engines with 3D printed sensor housings. At that time, the GE90 was the biggest jet engine in the world, but in these days it must relinquish that title with the introduction of the GE9X, a gigantic beast of an engine created for the new Boeing 777X airplane. Recently, GE fired the engine up and began testing it out in the woods near Peebles, Ohio, the company’s dedicated testing site.

The GE9X sports a front fan with a world record 11-foot (3.35-meter) diameter, but the engine is not only bigger than its predecessors. It is in addition the most fuel-efficient engine GE has at any time generated, and can generate 100,000 pounds of thrust – not the world’s most powerful, but close. (Comparatively, a space shuttle engine creates 375,000 pounds of thrust.) Oh, and it has sat any timeal 3D printed parts, namely fuel nozzles. Thanks to 3D printing, engineers were able-bodied to create rigorous internal shapes that may have been not easy with other making techniques. Don’t appear for too much additional detail on those components, yet.

“These tunnels and caves are a closely guarded secret,” said Rick Kennedy, a spokesman for GE Aviation. “They determine how the fuel moves through the nozzle and sprays within the combustion chamber.”


The nozzles in addition greatly reduce the mass of the engine, as well as the noise level – on a per-pounds-of-thrust basis, it’s the quietest engine GE has at any time generated. So there’s the heat-resistance. The engine’s core consists largely of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), capable-bodied of withstanding temperatures of up to 2,400°F.

“The hotter the engine runs, the additional efficient it is.” said Kennedy.

9x-1-1024x683In addition contributing to the engine’s fuel efficiency are 16 fourth-generation carbon fiber fan blades, that hustle air into an 11-stage high-pressure compressor with a 27:1 pressure ratio – the top pressure ratio of any commercial engine in service. The GE9X has been in development for sat any timeal years, and GE has may already tested most of the components on their own; this was the initially time the full engine was tested, howat any time.

“Due to the worthwhile amount of new technologies in the GE9X, we planned the testing program differently,” said GE9X program leader Chuck Jackson. “The early testing informed the create and making and allowed us to freeze the product definition and test the total engine as soon as possible.”

Whilst the GE9X won’t go into commercial service for a few years yet, GE has may already got over 700 orders for the engine of sat any timeal significant airlines. A $10 million investment went into the testing program, that can go on for sat any timeal months until the aerodynamic, thermal and mechanical characteristics of the engine are verified. The 2nd iteration of the engine can start undergoing testing following year.

GE has created no secret of the fact that they are quite serious of 3D printing; they’ve created sat any timeal massive investments in the innovation over the past two years. Based on the early demand for the GE9X engine, it pretty appears as yet those investments are going to pay off. You can see a video of the testing of the GE9X at a lower place. Discuss your yetts on the use of this innovation in the GE Jet Engine & 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source/Images: GE Reports]