RALEIGH, N.C., July 10 (UPI) -- Plans by GE Aviation to build a new facility for manufacturing engine components made of ceramic matrix composite materials are moving forward.
Final approval for the facility has been given by North Carolina's Economic Investment Committee and the company plans to break ground for the plant this year.
The 125,000-square-foot composite matrix materials plant will be located near Asheville, next to an existing GE Aviation plant. The company said it expects its employee payroll at the new plant to reach more than 340 people within five years of its opening.
GE Aviation said introduction of CMC components into the hot section of GE jet engines represents "a significant technology breakthrough" for the company and the jet propulsion industry.
"GE has been investing in CMC technology for decades, and we are mastering the manufacturing of CMCs at our laboratory in Delaware," said David Joyce, president and chief executive officer of GE Aviation. "Asheville will be our first factory involved in the mass production of CMC components (and) we believe the future Asheville plant will be on the ground floor of a new technology that will change aviation."
Lightweight ceramic matrix composite materials are made of silicon carbide ceramic fibers and ceramic resin.