GE Aviation broke ground on two adjacent factories to mass produce silicon carbide (SiC) materials used to manufacture ceramic-matrix composite components (CMCs) for jet engines and land-based gas turbines for electric power. The company is investing more than $200 million to construct the facilities on 100 acres in Huntsville, Ala. The plants are expected to be completed by the first half of 2018, and production begins in 2018. When fully operational, they are expected to employ up to 300 people.

One of the Huntsville plants will produce silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic fiber. According to GE Aviation, this will be the first such operation in the U.S. The second factory will use this SiC ceramic fiber to produce the unidirectional CMC tape necessary to fabricate CMC components. Both facilities will support GE and its international partners in selling and supporting jet engines and gas turbines worldwide.

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