(photo: GE Aviation)
Wed 19 Mar 2008 – Turkish Airlines has become the first GE Aviation customer to participate in the engine manufacturer’s material scrap reclamation programme in which the airline will return its old high pressure turbine (HPT) blades made from nickel superalloys that contain the rare and costly element rhenium. The material is then cleaned and melted for re-use in HPT blade manufacturing.
GE Aviation started the programme in 2007 at its own maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities to combat the rising cost of rhenium and is now being extended to its commercial and military customers. Prior to this, the scrap material was sold to vendors, which recycled the material for use in the stainless steel industry. This meant that key, rare elements like rhenium were lost to the aviation manufacturing industry.
GE anticipates reducing its rhenium need by 10% in 2008 through the programme and plans to extend it to other engine parts.
“The programme helps our customers as well as GE Aviation’s material stream,” said Scott Ernest, Vice President of GE Aviation’s Supply Chain organization. “It will help them with their environmental efforts as well as help reduce the costs associated with material disposal.”
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