GE Aviation to Invest $200m to Build Two SiC Materials Factories in Huntsville

Posted on November 4, 2015 linda strong aircraft parts

General Electric Aviation is getting ready to construct two new factories, designed to mass-produce silicon carbide (SiC) materials used to manufacture ceramic matrix composite components (CMCs). The factories will be built on one-hundred acres of land in Huntsville, Alabama, which will also make it the first operation of its kind in the United States. Construction will cost over $200 million for the pair. It will begin sometime in the middle of next year, and is expected to be complete within two years of that. SiC-based power devices are trending upward, and look like they will take over for silicon-based chips that are currently used for numerous applications. With a higher demand for SiCs and CMCs, officials at GE Aviation felt the need to mass-produce them domestically in order to fulfill their requirements.

“Establishing the new GE factories in Alabama is a very significant step in developing the supply chain we need in order to produce CMC components in large volume,”

said Sanjay Correa, Vice President, CMC Program at GE Aviation.

Robert J. Bentley, the governor of Alabama, joined them for the announcement that took place at the state capital. The plans look to be a huge boost for the state’s economy.

The first plant constructed will produce the SiC ceramic fiber. Currently, the only large-scale producer of this product is in Japan – NGS Advanced Fibers, which is a joint company of Nippon Carbon, GE, and SAFRAN of France. The other factory will use the SiC to create the unidirectional CMC tape that is needed to fabricate the CMC components.

Production will begin soon after construction of the facilities with a staff of approximately three-hundred employees. They have already begun hiring the technical team that will transfer to the location, and they plan to hire the hourly workforce sometime next year.

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