Saint-Gobain Seals Group’s OmniSeal® dynamic and static sealing components have been specified for use in a new series of geared jet engines. These engines feature a gear system that separates the engine fan from the low pressure compressor and turbine, allowing each of the modules to operate at their optimum speeds.
In recent times, with the need to make flying more efficient, the geared engines have emerged as an alternative design and technology to conventional turbofans, including a thrust range from 10,000 lbs to 40,000 lbs. As the fan spins at a lower speed than the turbine and compressor, more efficient thrust is created, resulting in up to 15% less fuel consumption, and reduced emissions of carbon dioxide. Today, a typical airliner burns about a half-gallon of fuel per mile; therefore, these engines will save an average of $1.7 million per year in operating costs for each airliner. Not only does the reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide give airliners a compelling reason to use this technology but the slow speed of the fans also contributes to low noise, providing passengers with a better flight experience.
“We are very excited to be working on this innovative new engine technology. As a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative sealing and polymer solutions to the aerospace market since 1955, our Seals Group brings extensive sealing design knowledge and experience to assist with this program,” said Ken Smith, Global Market Manager – Aerospace for Saint-Gobain Seals Group.
Smith added, “As part of our business model, our co-engineering approach was instrumental to the success of these critical applications. We engage with our customers’ engineers at the outset of the project and work together to develop and meet specific requirements such as optimal sealing jacket material formulations, sealing jacket design configurations, and optimal spring energizer solutions. This collaborative approach brings the best results for everyone.”
Aside from having their OmniSeal® spring-energized seals and components installed on the geared family of jet engines, the Seals Group offers a wide variety of solutions for jet engine applications, including OmniSeal® seals for c-seal and carbon seal assemblies, OmniLip™ main turbine shaft seals, Meldin® 7000 series vane bushings and sealing rings, and Rulon® thrust reverser track liners. OmniSeal®, OmniLip™, Rulon® and Meldin® products are lightweight polymeric components with high temperature operating capabilities, which enable them to be used in places where metallic or other non-metallic components have been used, or where elastomeric components cannot survive. The OmniSeal® product line has been used often in the aerospace market due to its superior sealing performance in both very low and high temperature ranging from -268°C (-450°F) to +316°C (+600°F), and pressure operating conditions ranging from vacuum to 3448 bar (50,000 PSI). Meldin® 7000 thermoset polyimide materials are the preferred choice for finish machined components used in jet engines, de-icing systems, actuators and other aerospace applications.
As a provider of powder-to-parts solutions for commercial aircraft, launch vehicle, and military aircraft applications, several of the Seals Group’s applications include the fuel delivery system in the Space X Falcon 9 and United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicles, aircraft micro fuel pumps, the slip joint system in the Delta IV Heavy rocket and ball bearings on the Mars rover Curiosity.