Rolls-Royce has developed a new technology demonstrator engine with 3D printed parts and ceramic matrix composites.
The Advance3 engine is part of Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan engine design and will be available from 2025.
The demonstrator engine incorporates around 20,000 parts in total, and has achieved more than 100 hours on test.
Additive Layer Manufacturing ALM – more commonly known as 3D printing – allows engineers to create new designs for parts, and for those parts to be made and redesigned more quickly.
Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) on the other hand last longer in high temperatures and are lighter than metal alternatives.
Advance3 – which combines both of the above – will play a pioneering role in delivering the IntelligentEngine, Rolls-Royce’s vision for the future.
“Testing so far has been completely seamless, which is an outstanding achievement when you realize that this is an engine incorporating a range of new technologies as well as a brand new core architecture. We have completed our first phase of testing and analysing the results right now. We like what we see from the CMC and ALM parts performance,” remarked Rolls-Royce’s Chief Engineer for Civil Aerospace Demonstrator Programmes, Ash Owen.
Rolls-Royce currently flies the world’s largest 3D printed aerospace structure within the Trent XWB-97 engine that was tested in 2015.
The Advance3 demonstrator is testing a new engine core that will deliver optimum fuel efficiency and low emissions.
It is a key element in Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan engine design that will offer a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency compared with a first generation Trent engine.
The new core operates between a Trent XWB fan system and a Trent 1000 low pressure turbine, and its compressor system helps deliver an UltraFan overall pressure ratio of up to 70:1.