Pratt & Whitney officially opened the doors to its new ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) engineering and development “Center of Excellence” on Tuesday. According to the company, the center will be used as an engineering, development and low-rate production facility dedicated to CMCs for aerospace applications. Pratt & Whitney says that the use of CMCs allows it to manufacture engine parts that are one-third the weight of traditional metal parts as well as being able to withstand significantly higher temperatures.
“Pratt & Whitney has been leading the industry with the world’s quietest, greenest, most efficient and highest performance engines in the world. We’ve achieved this by pioneering new materials, aerodynamics and engine architectures,” said Frank Preli, Pratt & Whitney vice president of propulsion and materials technology. “Some of our best and brightest minds are innovating within this facility and they will ensure that we continue to operate on the cutting edge of aviation technology for decades to come.”
Pratt & Whitney announced plans to build the CMC research & development facility in November 2019. The 60,000-square-foot center is located in Carlsbad, California. With the opening of the center, the company expects to hire more than 60 additional employees at the location.