GENNEVILLIERS, France --- Safran inaugurated today its new research center for advanced turbine blades used on airplane and helicopter engines at its plant in Gennevilliers, near Paris. The ceremony was attended by Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defense, and Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran.
The advanced turbine blades research facility is part of the corporate Research & Technology center, Safran Tech. Housed in a building spanning 3,000 square meters (32,400 sq ft), the new research unit is staffed by about 30 engineers and doctoral candidates and fitted with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, allowing them to carry out all development work needed for next-generation very-high-performance turbine blades.
The new unit deploys its proven expertise, along with innovative technologies such as multidisciplinary design, single-crystal casting, 3D-printed ceramic cores, thermal coatings, cooling circuits, digitized processes, self-adapting micro-drilling, non-destructive testing based on artificial intelligence, and more.
These turbine blades will be incorporated on the Rafale's current engines to improve aircraft dispatch reliability and reduce through-life maintenance and production costs. The technologies developed by this center will also be used on the future high-performance engine from Safran Aircraft Engines the French-German Future Combat Air System (FCAS). In addition, the center will develop technologies for use on civil aircraft engines and helicopter engines.
During the inauguration, French armed forces minister Florence Parly and Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin signed the renewal of the SME Action support agreement. Witnessing this signature were three SMEs (small and medium-size enterprises), Alliance Outillage, Chesneau and MSC Scanning, all suppliers to the research center.
Gennevilliers, one of the Group's legacy sites, has been in operation for 110 years. Located about 15 kilometers northwest of Paris, it spans a surface area of 15 hectares along the Seine River. It provides forging, casting and machining services for engine parts from Safran Aircraft Engines, and is organized in three centers of excellence: turbine blades, compressor blades and rotating parts.
Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defense markets. Safran has a global presence, with more than 91,000 employees. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. Safran pursues a continuous strategy of differentiation through innovation and undertakes extensive ongoing research and development programs.