The High Cost of Fatigue
Fatigue failure is one of the leading causes of equipment failure faced by engineers and mechanics today. Modern designs and methods frequently try to mitigate fatigue through several different methods that can include:
- Adding material to reduce mechanical stress
- Exploring potentially expensive redesigns
- Using more expensive materials
- Adjusting estimated service life
- Adding inspection procedures
Laser peening offers an alternative to these methods that in many applications will be far and away a better option.
Enhance current designs
Laser peening can be performed on components that have already been manufactured and even those that have been in service! The deep compressive residual stresses generated by laser peening can prevent fatigue cracks from forming and accumulated fatigue damage can be shunted. Used parts can even perform better than new after laser peening. With the increased fatigue strength from laser peening it is possible to reduce or eliminate costly inspections and the need to redesign parts with more expensive materials.
Engineer stronger products
By incorporating laser peening into new designs it is possible to reach higher efficiencies without changing the factor of safety. The increased fatigue strength, or benefit in fatigue life, helps enable designers and engineers to develop products without the need for wasted material or reinforcement to reduce cyclic stresses.