B&F Machine Co., Inc.

Airfoil machining

B&F Machine supports a machine center built around the manufacturing of airfoils. For over five years we have been supplying this quality part to our valued customers.

Our airfoil facility includes:

B&F Machine developed this specialized machine cell for work on a new type of jet engine blade. These blades are made from a lighter weight carbon composite material, which is more susceptible to breakage when hitting a hard object (i.e. a bird strike). To combat this weakness, the blade has a protective metal sheath mounted to the front, called a Metal Leading Edge (MLE).

Normally, the MLE is made from a malleable titanium sheet with a starting weight of about 14 pounds and formed into a shape. All large commercial engines have between 20-24 fan blades. This engine design called for 16 blades and thus needed a more robust MLE, made from hardened stainless steel. Unfortunately, the stainless-steel cracks during the forming process that is used for the titanium blades. Consequently, the MLE needed to be machined from a solid bar which weighed 840 pounds and needed to be machined for more than 300 hours to reach its finished weight of 4.2 pounds.

B&F worked in conjunction with the OEM to develop, build and manufacture this new machining process and highly complex part on a tight timeline so the new engine could be certified.