Rolls-Royce blade facility to create 150 UK jobs

Rolls-Royce has begun construction of a state of the art advanced blade casting facility in Rotherham.

The new facility will manufacture high technology single crystal turbine blades for large civil aero engines and will create 150 jobs. The facility is expected to produce its first blades in late 2014 and will be capable of manufacturing 100,000 blades a year when fully operational. Each blade will be cast to form a single crystal of super alloy, making it extremely strong and able to resist the intense heat inside a jet engine. Operating in temperatures up to 200° above the melting point of their alloy and sitting in a disc that rotates at more than 12,000 rpm, the centrifugal force exerted on a blade is equivalent to the weight of a London bus. According to Rolls-Royce, the 14,000m2 facility will be one of the most advanced blade casting facilities in the world, featuring 'groundbreaking' manufacturing techniques such as 3D structured light for geometry inspection. The single crystal turbine blade is a critical component of the jet engine and there are over 65 in every Trent engine. One single crystal turbine blade extracts around 1000 horsepower from the gas flow towards the rear of the engine, which is equivalent to the power of an F1 racing car, to drive the engine's compressors. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the good news was not just for Rolls-Royce and the local area, but for the country's aerospace sector and the wider economy too. "It provides a good example of business and government working together to deliver growth," he commented.