GE and Safran are to join forces with Nippon Carbon Company to manufacture silicon carbide continuous fibre, or Nicalon, for use in CFM International's next generation of engine components.
The three companies plan to form a joint venture called NGS Advanced Fibers, in which Nippon Carbon Company will hold a 50% stake with GE and Safran each holding a 25% stake.
The joint venture, which is subject to regulatory approval, will be based in Tokyo with facilities in Toyama, Japan.
Nicalon is a "ceramic fibre developed, manufactured and marketed by our company, which combines lightness and strength with high thermal resistance even in air", said Shigeo Tajima, president of Nippon Carbon Company.
"Demand for aircraft engine components is set to increase ten-fold over the next decade, and we plan to meet this growth in the market for high-tech materials by establishing the joint venture."
The fibre is used in ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials, which will feature in the Leap engines being developed by CFM International.
"One of the main expected technological breakthroughs will be the use of CMC materials in hot sections of engines that will help reduce fuel consumption," said Jean-Luc Engerand, chief executive of Snecma Propulsion Solide (Safran Group).
"The signature of today is an important step towards this perspective."