France's Mecachrome readies line for Leap blades

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French firm Mecachrome is to produce titanium-aluminide blades for the new CFM International Leap engines being designed for the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 Max and Comac C919.

The blades will feature on the low-pressure turbine of the Leap powerplant. Safran Group says propulsion specialist Snecma has signed a corresponding agreement with Mecachrome for the work.

Use of titanium aluminide, a titanium-aluminium alloy, will halve the weight of nickel-based blades which have previously been used in the turbines, it adds.

"This alloy will be used for the first time in the world on a single-aisle commercial jet," states Safran.

Snecma and Mecachrome have developed a production centre at Mecachrome's Sablé-sur-Sarthe plant. Series production will commence in 2015 and the centre will create a blade every 3min by 2019, adds Snecma.