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German government awards General Electric Company with aviation research grant

The German government has awarded GE Aviation and GE's Global Research Center with an aviation research grant valued at more than $1 million to develop an advanced "cold-spray" manufacturing technology for jet engine components.

Development begins this year at GE's Global Research Center Europe in Munich working with Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg and leading German technology companies, and continues from 2009 through 2011. GE's objective is to begin producing engine components with the new technology in 2012 at GE Aviation's pilot manufacturing site in Regensburg.

This research grant, awarded through Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, is the first ever received by GE Aviation and GE Global Research from the German federal government.

"New manufacturing processes are critical in enhancing modern jet engines, as well as managing the costs associated with producing them," said Bob Schafrik, GE Aviation's general manager of material and process engineering. "We are thrilled to win the support of the German government. Cold-spray technology is still in its infancy for producing bulk parts. The co-operation of industrial R&D centers with university and technology partners as well as the support from the German government will drive this innovation."

The cold-spray process involves depositing powder materials (below the melting point) at super-high velocities (up to Mach 4) onto a surface, to coat or build a solid part. The first components targeted for production are for GE's large turbofan engines. The process is expected to result in considerable cost savings.

GE Aviation is the world's largest producer of jet engines. In 2008, GE and its joint partner companies produced about 3,000 commercial and military jet engines. Also in 2008, GE announced a pilot program to explore advanced manufacturing technologies at its facility in Regensburg.

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on February 20, 2009


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GE Aircraft Engines Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines


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