What Game of Thrones Teaches Us About Material Enhancement

Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon. Conceived by American novelist George R.R. Martin, this fantasy epic has been adapted by HBO into one of the highest-grossing TV series of all time. The story takes place in a vast fantasy realm, with most of the plot focused on a land called Westeros – a dynastic empire reminiscent of medieval Europe.

The series has soared to widespread popularity thanks in part to the breadth of themes it delivers: Mystery, romance, action, intrigue – Game of Thrones brings them all and pulls no punches. With an average price tag of $10 million per episode, the show overlaps complex political trickery with heart-pounding action and dazzling special effects.

But amidst all the sex and swordplay, Game of Thrones presents some valuable lessons that still resonate in modern life. I’m not talking about courage or chivalry – this is a laser peening blog after all. I’m talking about material enhancement. And this billion-dollar fantasy franchise has more to say about it than you might think. Continue reading

Residual Stress Formation with Laser Peening: Webinar Highlight

Laser peening produces deep compressive residual stresses that extend component service lifetimes and improve performance. The key to laser peening’s effectiveness is the generation of a powerful shockwave – but how does this process enhance the metal surface?

LSPT Senior Engineer Stan Bovid explains the mechanics in this excerpt from a recent live webinar. Click here to sign up for our next live training event, or contact us to arrange a private presentation for your team.

Where Does Laser Peening Fit in the Metal Finishing Process?

David Lahrman is a certified trainer for Metal Finishing News International (MFN). David provides insights and instruction on metal finishing for this worldwide network, and he wrote a feature article for the July 2017 issue of MFN Magazine.

MFN International – July Issue – 2017

Laser shock peening is a powerful, targeted method for enhancing metal fatigue strength using high-energy laser pulses. Like shot peening, laser peening imparts beneficial compressive residual stresses in the surface of a component to impede crack initiation and propagation. Unlike shot peening, laser peening is only applied to fatigue-critical areas to provide enhanced resistance where parts are most susceptible to failure. Laser peening is commonly applied along the edges of compressor turbine airfoils to protect against foreign object damage and erosion, or applied along the dovetail root to prevent fretting fatigue, stress corrosion cracking and fracture.

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Industrial Laser Peening Research at ZAL TechCenter

LSP Technologies (LSPT) is offering laser peening research and application development at the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research in Hamburg, Germany. Machine time on LSPT’s state-of-the-art laser peening equipment at ZAL will be available to manufacturers seeking industry-leading metal fatigue enhancement.

LSP Technologies (LSPT) is now filling its schedule for laser peening application development in Europe. This landmark opportunity coincides with the impending delivery of LSPT’s Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System to the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research (ZAL Zentrum für Angewandte Luftfahrtforschung) in Hamburg, Germany. Beginning in 2018, LSPT is making the Procudo® System available to European manufacturers for laser peening research and application development.

Key features of the Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System:

  • Production-quality system engineered for high-volume laser peening
  • Diode-pumped, pulsed YLF laser delivers high beam quality for consistent processing
  • Fastest (20 Hz) and most powerful (200 W) pulsed laser peening equipment available in the world
  • Real-time diagnostics and selectable beam parameters for comprehensive process control
Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System exterior and optical table

Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System

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Laser Peening Ceramics: Next-Gen Enhancement for Next-Gen Components

Laser shock peening is the next generation of material improvement. This powerful surface enhancement process improves metal fatigue strength up to twenty times – providing invaluable service life extensions for critical components. Though traditionally applied to steels, titanium, and other metals, laser peening is now proving a valuable application for a new class of material: engineered ceramics.

Space shuttle in orbit with earth backdrop

The NASA Space Shuttle incorporated ceramic tiles for high heat resistance

Ceramic engineering involves manufacturing objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials like silicon or zirconia. Ceramic parts offer several key advantages over their metal components in that they are lighter, noncorrosive, and offer superior heat resistance.

Ceramics in Aerospace

Ceramic materials have been used in targeted aerospace applications for years, providing thermal protection and insulation for the Space Shuttle to withstand the extreme temperatures of atmospheric reentry. As ceramic engineering has evolved, these versatile materials have been employed in applications ranging from brake pads to ball bearings to bulletproof vests. Continue reading

Kissing Bond Detection – Live Webinar Highlight

Laser Bond Inspection Detects Critical Flaws in Bonded Structures

Kissing bonds present a serious defect in bonded structures. Kissing bonds occur when bonded surfaces are in intimate contact but possess no mechanical strength. This typically results from manufacturing faults surrounding surface and adhesive preparation, and these flaws can lead to premature failure. Kissing bonds are notoriously difficult to detect, and can’t be identified through most nondestructive inspection methods.

LSPT’s Laser Bond Inspection (LBI) technology is the only known nondestructive method for evaluating bond strength and detecting kissing bonds. LBI performs real-time detection using a laser-generated stress wave and an EMAT or VISAR signal. This live webinar highlight explains how LBI is used in conjunction with VISAR to detect kissing bonds.

Contact LSPT to learn more about Laser Bond Inspection technology.

Check out our YouTube page for more interesting videos and webinar highlights.

Visit our Webinars page to sign up for our next free live webinar.

The Mechanics of Laser Peening for Fatigue Enhancement – Webinar

Illustration of the laser peening process including laser beam, process overlays, plasma burst, and shockwave propagation into componentWednesday, August 2nd, 1:00 PM EDT – Click Here to Register.

  • What are the underlying mechanics of the laser peening process?
  • How do materials respond to laser-induced stress waves?
  • How do compressive residual stresses enhance metal fatigue resistance?

Join us Wednesday, August 2nd at 1 PM EDT for a free LSPT webinar about the mechanics of laser peening.

Presented by:
Stan Bovid, P.E.
Sr. Engineer – Materials & Structures.

Sign up using the form on our Webinars page, or Click Here to register by email.

The event will last about one hour, with time for questions at the end. We hope to see you there!

Turbine Blade Failure Rocks Passenger Plane with 359 on Board

Engine failure at 40,000 feet

An AirAsia flight bound for Malaysia turned harrowing when a fractured fan blade forced an engine shutdown, and passengers endured violent shaking throughout a tense two-hour return to Perth Airport in Australia.

The incident occurred on June 25th, about one hour into the scheduled flight to Kuala Lumpur. Passengers described hearing a loud bang that came from the left engine, followed by severe vibrations that rattled the plane for the duration of the journey.

“It was literally like you were sitting on top of a washing machine,” said 24-year-old passenger Brenton Atkinson in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. “We could see the engine out the window which was really shaken on the wing.”

That shaking engine, a Trent 772 manufactured by Rolls Royce, was the result of a fractured fan blade that caused a severe imbalance in the rotating machinery. The pilot shut off power to the affected engine, but airflow continued driving the unstable turbine sending powerful vibrations throughout the body of the plane.

The frightening ordeal was captured on video by panicked passengers, and footage of the incident quickly went viral on social media around the world. This clip from ABC News shows the violent shaking experienced within the cabin, along with the wobbling engine bouncing precariously beneath the wing.

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