Rolls-Royce opens new Bristol facility

Posted on 29 Jan 2020 and read 661 times
Rolls-Royce opens new Bristol facilityA new Rolls-Royce composite technology facility has opened in Bristol; it will develop jet engine fan blades and fan cases to significantly reduce weight, fuel consumption and emissions.

These components are a feature of the Rolls-Royce UltraFan engine demonstrator — a revolutionary new engine design that will reduce fuel burn and COsup<2 by at least 25% compared to the first Trent engine.

The new facility will use low-energy processes with very low emissions and features the latest automated manufacturing methods, while maximising the use of raw materials and reducing waste — the company has pledged to achieve zero emissions in its operations and facilities by 2030.

Alan Newby, aerospace technology and future programmes director (, said: “This new facility exemplifies our commitment to creating cleaner and more-efficient forms of power.

"Our highly skilled employees will use the latest technology, materials and manufacturing techniques to develop components that will contribute to lighter, quieter and more powerful jet engines with fewer emissions.”

A Rolls-Royce fan system made with carbon-fibre composites can save almost 700kg per aircraft, which is the equivalent of seven passengers and their luggage.

The fan blades are made by techniques that build up hundreds of layers of carbon-fibre materials, pre-filled with ‘state of the art’ toughness-enhanced resin.

Heat and pressure are then applied, and each blade is finished with a thin titanium leading edge, which offers protection against erosion, foreign objects and bird strikes.

Rolls-Royce has been involved in developing carbon-fibre technologies for several decades, and it already uses the material for parts within its existing engines, but this new facility will take the technology to the next level.

It will benefit from manufacturing techniques that have been developed in partnership with the National Composites Centre in Bristol and research conducted at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre at the University of Bristol, as well as several other universities and research centres in the UK and in Europe.

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