Friday, March 16, 2012

News: Rolls-Royce submit detailed plans for Rotherham facility


World-renowned engineers, Rolls-Royce has submitted detailed plans for one of three proposed new facilities in Rotherham.

The Advanced Blade Casting Facility is to be built on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) as a sister factory to an existing operation in Derby. The 14,900 sq m factory will manufacture fan blades, principally for the aerospace sector.

Designed by Sheffield architects, Bond Bryan, who have designed a number of buildings on the AMP, the latest facility will be in the Rolls-Royce corporate style of metallic silver.

It will be a predominantly rectangular shape with an "elegant and gently curved roof profile." It should meet the BREEAM rating of very good.

A spokesperson for consultants, URS, who have put the plans together for Rolls-Royce, said: "The company expects to be able to appoint a building contractor in the near future and to start on site this Spring. It is anticipated that building works will extend over a 12 month period.

"Once the building is occupied by Rolls-Royce it will take a further period before production commences. Initially 180 employees will be involved, working to a two shift pattern."

Rolls-Royce has outline planning permission for three facilities in Rotherham including a 21,000 sq m "Project PoWeR" facility for manufacturing and assembling power vessels for the next generation of nuclear power stations and a 8,800 sq m building which could be for another Rolls-Royce facility or for one of their suppliers. Together, they could create 360 jobs initially.

Rolls-Royce has pioneered the use of hollow, titanium wide-chord fan blades, manufactured using high-technology and innovative techniques. These include laser shock peening, linear friction welding and filament winding.

The largest Rolls-Royce fan blade in service is the 116 inch diameter blade in the Trent 900 for the Airbus A380 but new concepts and technologies are constantly being considered to create ever larger fans and more fuel-efficient engines.

Examples of new fan concepts include fan blades made from composite material and advanced open rotor concepts.

Rolls-Royce is also pioneering the manufacture of single crystal (SX) turbine blades. It is developing new, high-productivity manufacturing processes to create these important and highly complex aero engine components.

The turbine extracts energy from the hot gas stream received from the combustor in high-thrust aero engines. Turbine blades convert the energy stored within the gas into kinetic energy. It is required to withstand centrifugal loads of up to ten tonnes while operating at temperatures in excess of the melting point of the alloy.

Single crystal casting, exotic alloying additions and protective coatings have enabled Rolls-Royce to increase metal temperatures by approximately 300°C over the last 50 years, a figure that can be doubled when the temperature of the gas stream itself is considered.

Rolls-Royce website

Images: Bond Bryan /


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