Composite venture

GKN Aerospace has established a joint venture with Rolls-Royce to carry out research into the use of composite materials in aero engine fan blades.

GKN Aerospace has established a joint venture company with Rolls-Royce to carry out research and development into the use of composite materials in aero engine fan blades.

Rolls-Royce will fund and own 51 per cent of the £11m venture, with GKN Aerospace responsible for 49 per cent.

The joint venture activities will build upon the development of composite blade applications undertaken during the EU-funded VITAL programme.

The aim of that programme, which wraps up in January next year, is to reduce the weight of the low-pressure section of the engine, reducing noise by six decibels and CO2 emissions by seven per cent.

Rolls-Royce director of Research and Technology Ric Parker said that the new composite joint venture is aimed at delivering light-weight and low-cost fan blades.