Advanced Ceramic Coatings selects new facility location
EVENDALE, OH -- Advanced Ceramic Coatings (ACC), a 50/50 joint venture between GE Aviation and Turbocoating Corp., selected Duncan, South Carolina, as the location for its new environmental barrier coating facility for jet engine components.
Formed in 2014 and headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina, ACC combines Turbocoating's proprietary coatings technologies and industrial processes with GE Aviation's coatings processes developed specifically for ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material to produce advanced coatings for GE's high-temperature CMC components in the latest generation of jet engines. The new 62,500 square-foot facility will be located on Howell Road and begin operation in the 3rd quarter of 2017.
"Duncan and Spartanburg County offered the right mix of skilled employees and resources to help ACC expands its production capabilities over the next few years," said Scott Hayes, general manager with ACC. "GE and Turbocoating will invest more than $15 million in equipment in the new facility and will employ about 50 people by 2022."
"ACC's decision to build its newest facility in Duncan is a real reason to celebrate, not just for the 50 South Carolinians who will now work there, but for the state as a whole. Each time a company has the ability to expand anywhere in the country and they choose South Carolina, it shows the world that every part of our state is open for business and we are ready to partner with any company looking for a place to call home," said Gov. Nikki Haley.
"South Carolina's undeniable prowess in the manufacturing industry continues to help us attract companies from across the country and around the world. We're proud that ACC has chosen Spartanburg County to base its new operations, and we look forward to watching them succeed in our state," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
Late last year, ACC began delivering its first coated components, such as CMC shrouds for the best-selling LEAP engine from CFM International, the 50/50 joint company of GE and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. LEAP is the first commercial jet engine to ever use CMCs in the hot high-pressure turbine section.
GE expects the demand for CMCs in its engines to grow steadily over the next decade, based on a very solid current backlog of LEAP engines. The LEAP engine entered airline service earlier this year on the Airbus A320neo and will also power the Boeing 737 MAX and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft. Later this decade, CMCs will also be incorporated into the combustor and high-pressure turbine section of GE's new GE9X engine under development to power the Boeing 777X twin-aisle aircraft.
The use of lightweight, heat-resistant CMCs in the hot section of jet engines is a significant breakthrough in the aviation industry. CMCs consist of silicon carbide ceramic fibers and ceramic matrix and are enhanced with proprietary coatings. With one-third the density of metal alloys, these ultra-lightweight CMCs reduce an engine's weight, which improves fuel efficiency and durability. CMCs are also more heat resistant than metal alloys, allowing the diversion of less cooling air into an engine's hot section. By using this cooling air in the engine flow path, an engine runs more efficiently at higher temperature.
About the parent companies:
GE Aviation, headquartered in Evendale, Ohio, is an operating unit of GE and a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft with a global service network to support these offerings.
Turbocoating Corp., located in Hickory, NC, a subsidiary of Turbocoating SPA headquartered in Parma, Italy, has been a leader in surface treatments and manufacturing since 1973 with a core business to develop special processes and manufacture protective coatings for components in industrial gas turbines and jet engines.