GE’s Marine Solutions announced it has completed a series of fire tests on a new composite LM2500 marine enclosure as part of the Module Modernization Program (MMP).
According to the company, the tests verified that the composite material reduces weight and improves performance.
The MMP is a program that seeks to inject updated technology into the gas turbine module system and reduce enclosure weight by approximately 50%, with the base structure excluded.
Participants of the MMP include GE, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and the United States Navy; the program commenced in 2014.
According to GE, the new monolithic composite structure of GE’s LM2500 marine module does not use bolted joints between the walls and ceiling. This feature improves assembly and noise attenuation through the elimination of noise channels. The use of composites also allows the module doors and access panels to be made larger, yet lighter for ease of handling. The use of composites eliminates rusting of doors, hinges and access panels, reducing maintenance, the company added.
The assembly of a prototype enclosure is now underway and will be tested in a full-scale gas turbine test cell to confirm noise attenuation and thermal performances predicted earlier by component tests and analysis. The composite enclosure will then be subjected to barge shock testing to U.S. Navy requirements. These tests are scheduled to be completed by mid-2018.
The gas turbine module developed under the MMP will be available in 2018 with the first application intended on the U.S. Navy’s DDG-51 Flight III ships. The lightweight composite enclosure and updated components will be available for international navies in 2018, the company said.