Industry Today Volume 22 Issue 4

et engine fan blades are traditionally made out of metal to withstand high temperatures and pressure, extreme weather conditions and bird strikes. Replacing metal with a composite material promised significant weight reduc- tion, resulting in improved fuel efficiency. But producing a composite material capable of withstanding harsh environments while still attaining high performance present extensive engineering and manufacturing challenges. While GE Aviation had developed some experimental carbon-fiber composite blades back in the 1980s, it wasn’t until the estab- lishment in 1993 of CFAN—a joint venture J CFAN manufactures composite fan blades used in GE Aviation engines supplied to Boeing 7x7 series aircraft. David Soyka reports. FAN POWER INDUSTRY TODAY 69 CFAN | PROFILE