GE completes fire tests on new composite LM2500 marine enclosure


GE Marine Solutions has successfully completed fire testing on its new composite LM2500 marine gas turbine module.

The LM2500 marine enclosure is being updated with new technology as part of the Module Modernisation Programme (MMP).

Once deployed, it will form an acoustic and fire boundary around the gas turbine to increase the safety of the ship.

The fire and other component tests have been performed to verify the use of a composite material, which would significantly reduce the weight of the enclosure and enhance overall performance.

GE vice-president and general manager Brien Bolsinger said: “Ships are constantly challenged by weight to meet present and future capability needs and to lower life cycle costs.

“That’s why the MMP is designed with customer needs in mind: to update the gas turbine module with proven new technologies that reduce the enclosure weight by approximately 50%, while also reducing life cycle costs, noise emission and improving safety.”

The LM2500's composite structure eliminates the need for bolted joints between the walls and ceiling, thereby enhancing the ease of assembly and noise attenuation through the reduction of noise channels.

"The assembly of a prototype enclosure is currently underway, which is to be tested to help confirm the noise attenuation and thermal performances predicted earlier via component tests."

The use of composites also enables the module doors and access panels to be made larger but lighter, which facilitates easier handling.

It also eliminate the rusting of doors, hinges and access panels, reducing maintenance costs and improving safety.

Fire testing of GE’s marine gas turbine module was conducted at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in order to demonstrate that the composite design meets the US Navy’s fire resistance requirements.

The assembly of a prototype enclosure is currently underway, which is to be tested in a full-scale gas turbine test cell to help confirm the noise attenuation and thermal performances predicted earlier via component tests and analysis.

Following this, the composite enclosure will undergo barge shock testing according to US Navy requirements.

The tests are slated to be completed by the middle of next year.

The marine gas turbine module is expected to be available in 2018, when it will initially be integrated on the US Navy’s DDG-51 Flight III vessels.