Lighter And Quieter At Sea
By Mike Brezonick10 April 2018
GE’s Marine Solutions announced it has successfully completed acoustic attenuation and weight comparison testing between its new lightweight composite LM2500 gas turbine module and a conventional steel enclosure. GE said the results verified a 2500 kg weight reduction and a significant improvement in noise attenuation — 60% quieter — when compared to its steel predecessor.
“The tests compared the noise and weight of the steel enclosure to the novel one-piece composite design,” said GE’s Brien Bolsinger, vice president, general manager of GE Marine Solutions. “Results verified that the new carbon fiber provides a significant reduction in the wall weight and noise, which is vital on weight- and size-constrained surface combatants.
“By using lightweight composites, life cycle costs associated with rusting steel components are eliminated. The new design provides improved access to the engine, and with wall temperatures 25º to 50º cooler, there is less heat rejected into the engine room. Yet most importantly, the new module offers sailors a safer, more comfortable environment.”
The United States Navy, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and GE have collaborated on this new LM2500 enclosure. As part of this program, digital sensors and components such as transducers, heaters, and flame and ice detectors are being modernized, GE said.
The first composite enclosure will be ready in 2019 and initial applications are on the U.S Navy’s DDG 51 destroyers. A number of other U.S. and international programs are interested in this new enclosure, GE said.