Rolls-Royce to expand aerospace research centre in southern California


Rolls-Royce has announced a $30m expansion into a new 62,000ft² facility located in southern California, US.

The facility will be dedicated for research and development of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials and processes for next-generation aircraft engine components.

Rolls-Royce president and CEO of North America Marion Blakey said: “The development of lighter, stronger, composite fibre components is just part of our commitment to continuously improve the performance of our products by focusing on lowering fuel consumption, emissions and noise.

“The team here in Cypress will be dedicated to seeing the commercial application of these technologies."

“The team here in Cypress will be dedicated to seeing the commercial application of these technologies that will soon be adopted into advanced manufacturing production methods for gas turbine components.”

CMCs offer various advantages for multiple high-tech industries such as aerospace and other sectors with thermal and mechanical requirements. 

They deliver the high-temperature capability of ceramics with the strength and reliability that is required for gas turbine engine applications, but weigh less than current alloys. 

CMC components are effective in saving fuel as they are lighter and need less cooling compared with nickel-based components.

Rolls-Royce turbine executive vice-president for civil aerospace Andy Greasley said: “The turbine sits at the heart of the engine.

"This dedication ceremony represents the completion of another major milestone and the creation of a state-of-the art facility specifically purposed for the development of our next generation turbine materials.”

The new unit will produce components and develop manufacturing processes to be used for engine test programmes. These refined processes will be applied to a future production facility to create engine components.