April 17, 2014
Snecma and Mecachrome sign contract for production of titanium aluminide blades on LEAP engine
Snecma (Safran) and Mecachrome signed the procurement contract for titanium-aluminide (TiAl) blades on the low-pressure turbine of the CFM International LEAP engine. Titanium aluminide (TiAl), an alloy of titanium and aluminum, is a new-generation material with outstanding qualities. Standing up to very high temperatures (750°C), it will cut the weight of a blade in half compared with the nickel-based alloys traditionally used in low-pressure turbines. As part of the new LEAP engine, this alloy will be used for the first time on a single-aisle commercial jet. It will contribute to the excellent performance of this new engine, which offers 15% lower fuel consumption than the best engines now in service. Snecma and Mecachrome developed a special manufacturing process for TiAI blades, and even created a complete production facility. Located at Mecachrome’s plant in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, the new production line will require an investment of €60m and create 150 specific jobs. Volume production will kick off in 2015, with a sharp ramp-up already in 2016, on the way to achieving the planned production rate of one blade every three minutes in 2019.