Laser Shock Processing Increases the Fatigue Life of Metal Parts

Originally published by Materials and Processing, 6 (6) 3-5 (Sept. 1991).

Authored by Allan H. Clauer and John R. Koucky.

Laser shock processing (LSP) produces a surface compressive residual stress in the metal part being treated that can significantly improve those properties which are affected by the initiation and propagation of surface cracks. The properties of greatest interest are fatigue life and fatigue strength. But the process also can reduce fretting fatigue and stress-corrosion cracking as well as strengthen thin sections. The potential advantages of LSP include the possibility of direct integration into manufacturing production lines with a high degree of automation, use on machined surfaces, increased quality assurance, treatment of localized fatigue critical areas without masking, and the ability to make design changes that would not be possible using alternative methods for increasing fatigue resistance. Among the applications that have been identified are the manufacture of blades, disks, and vanes for aircraft gas turbine engines; gears, connecting rods, and crankshafts for automotive engines; and medical implants.

To download the entire article- as a pdf: Laser Shock Processing Increases the Fatigue Life of Metal Parts