GE Aviation Expands R&D On Silicon Carbide In Pompano Beach
By Steve Hall
May 5, 2012 - GE Aviation announced that it has expanded
into a new facility in Pompano Beach, which includes a
30% increase in square footage and an R & D lab capable
of advanced development of silicon carbide (SiC)-based
power conversion products for air, land and sea-based
Silicon carbide (SiC), also known as carborundum, is a
compound of silicon and carbon with chemical formula
SiC. It occurs in nature as the extremely rare mineral
moissanite. Silicon carbide powder has been
mass-produced since 1893 for use as an abrasive. Grains
of silicon carbide can be bonded together by sintering
to form very hard ceramics which are widely used in
applications requiring high endurance, such as car
brakes, car clutches and ceramic plates in bulletproof
Electronic applications of silicon carbide as light
emitting diodes (LEDs) and detectors in early radios
were first demonstrated around 1907, and today SiC is
widely used in high-temperature high-voltage
semiconductor electronics. Large single crystals of
silicon carbide can be grown by the Lely method; they
can be cut into gems known as synthetic moissanite.
Silicon carbide with high surface area can be produced
from SiO2 contained in plant material.
?This new facility enables us to continue work on GE-developed
SiC technology, with the potential of reducing the weight on an
aircraft by more than 400 lbs.," said Vic Bonneau, president of
Electrical Power for GE Aviation Systems. ?GE is committed to
Florida and is investing approximately $20 million in program
work and R&D related to our Pompano Beach facility over the next
The 30,000 square foot facility is located at 2705 Gateway Drive
in Pompano Beach. A new lab in the facility will provide
increased capacity for developing, testing and manufacturing
advanced electrical power conversion products used on civil and
?This is a significant event for GE and for Pompano Beach,?
continued Bonneau. ?Our workers here are helping to bring
innovation from the research lab to the manufacturing floor, and
that helps keep U.S. manufacturing competitive.?
GE's SiC power devices will address this need on both fronts.
Bonneau said ?An important part of our strategy is to
aggressively invest in the kinds of technologies that will solve
large problems for our customers 10 year from now.?
GE Aviation in Pompano Beach, FL was established in 1965 and is one of
the leading designers and manufacturers of special application
electronic power subsystems for military and other "high-end"
GE has 40 employees at the Pompano Beach facility who design and manufacture high-end military grade power supplies, including custom and standard power conversion and control products. GE currently has approximately 4,300 employees in Florida.
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