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UEC will use polymer composite parts for Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft engine production

Site news 18.07.2017

Zhukovsky, July 18, 2017

PJSC UEC-Saturn (a part of United Engine Corporation of Rostec State Corporation Company) is testing experimental prototypes of parts made of polymer composite materials (PCM) for the Russian-French SaM146 engine which powers the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft (SSJ100).

Multicomponent composite materials consist of plastic base (matrix) and reinforcing filling materials which have high rigidity and strength. Their combination ensures the creation of new materials, and the filler orientation (carbon fiber) in the material secures the required mechanical properties.

SaM146 is an integrated power plant made up of an engine and a nacelle with a reverser. SaM146 is delivered and all after-sale services are provided by PowerJet (a joint venture founded on the principles of equal representation of Safran Aircraft Engines and UEC-Saturn. Rybinsk UEC-Saturn is in charge of the development and production of the fan and the low pressure compressor, the low pressure turbine, SaM146 engine assembly, and tests, and Safran Aircraft Engines is responsible for the high pressure compressor, the combustion chamber, the high pressure turbine, the accessory gearbox, Automatic Control System, and power plant integration.

UEC-Saturn is working at the improvement of engine life and technical characteristics. One of these improvement trends is the substitution of current metal engine parts for hardware made of polymer composite materials.

“We are actively working at the creation and introduction of parts made of polymer composite materials into aircraft engine configurations because it provides the opportunity to improve the principle characteristics of a product significantly, – says Dmitry Karelin, Deputy General Designer of UEC-Saturn for Research Activities. – In particular, one of the tasks is weight reduction of SaM146 and other gas-turbine engines produced by UEC companies, as well as the establishment of a scientific and technical stock as related to PCM introduction. The target values are a reduction in part weight by 20-40% and in production cost by 10-50%”.

At the present time the first experimental prototypes manufactured by UEC-Saturn are undergoing a number of tests in the SaM146 engine. The developed technologies will be also applied to UEC’s other power plant systems.

For the successful introduction of PCM the Company’s specialists have chosen the “simple-to-complex” concept where the sequence of steps starts from material replacement in minor stator parts and goes up to the key task – development and manufacture of a fan module made of PCM.

The key trends of mastering this technology are PCM for stator parts on the basis of a thermoplastic matrix (PEEK type of superplastic) and PCM for loaded parts of gas-turbine engines (including fan blades) with a 3D-woven reinforcing structure. Technologies are developed in wide cooperation with Russian and foreign institutes and companies.
“Analysis of global tendencies shows that foreign top-companies are already switching from traditional sandwich-type polymer composites to new-generation materials, – says Dmitry Karelin, Deputy General Designer of UEC-Saturn For Research Activities. – It is connected with the reliability improvement of parts made of new materials as compared to laminar polymer composite materials. Simple replication of world companies’ experience will not enable us to have a technological leap or to leave them behind, therefore our attention was focused on new state-of-the-art technologies with the maximum prospects of application. A serious breakthrough is possible with the start of industrialization and operation of parts made of thermoplastic PCM. The use of these materials allows re-melting-curing and thus it significantly enhances the technological capacities of manufacture of parts from PCM, makes it possible to apply welding, forging, casting, hybrid forming processes, and to repair parts in operation conditions in case of their damage”.

The technology of creating complex 3D-reinforcing structures from continuous carbon fiber, which is also being mastered at UEC-Saturn, gives the opportunity to control and monitor stress-strain distribution inside a part by means of 3D-reinforcing, and neutralizes the main drawback of traditional PCM – tendency to interlayer delamination.

PJSC UEC-Saturn is an engine-manufacturing company specialized in the design and development, production and after-market support of gas turbine engines for military and commercial aviation, power generation and gas compression as well as for ships and vessels. PJSC UEC-Saturn is a part of United Engine Corporation (JSC) and is the leader of the Commercial Engines division, a business unit of UEC. It is located in Rybinsk (Yaroslavl Region). PJSC UEC-Saturn is a member of the all-Russian industrial association of employers “Russian Engineering Union”, the Yaroslavl regional office of the all-Russian public organization “Russian Engineering Union” is headed by V.Polyakov, Managing Director of PJSC UEC-Saturn.

United Engine Corporation (JSC) (a Rostec State Corporation company) is an integrated organization specialized in the design and development, serial production and after-market support of engines for military and commercial aviation, space programs, the Navy as well as for the oil and gas industry and power generation. One of UEC’s prioritized fields of activity is the implementation of comprehensive programs of development of the industry’s companies by introducing new technologies meeting the world-class standards.

Rostec State Corporation is a Russian corporation established in 2007 in order to facilitate the development, manufacturing and export of high-technology industrial products of military and commercial application. The corporation comprises more than 700 companies, which form 11 defense-industrial and 3 civil industry holdings as well as more than 80 direct control companies. The Rostec portfolio spans such renowned brands as AVTOVAZ, KAMAZ, Kalashnikov Group, Russian Helicopters, VSMPO-AVISMA, Uralvagonzavod, and others. Rostec’s subsidiaries are located in 60 regions of Russia and deliver their products to over 70 countries worldwide. Rostec' s consolidated revenue in 2016 reached 1 trillion 266 billion rubles, the consolidated net profit — 88 bln rubles, and EBITDA — 268 bln rubles. The average salary of the corporation in 2016 amounted to 44 000 rubles. Following Rostec's new strategy, the major objective is to ensure the technological advantage of Russia on competitive world markets. One of Rostec’s key tasks is the introduction of a new technological structure and digitalization of Russian economy.


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