On July 2, 2012, Metal Improvement Company filed a third Request for Reexamination with the USPTO, again asking that the USPTO reexamine all of the claims of the ’876 patent in light of various printed publications submitted by MIC in the third Request. As expected, in November 2012, the USPTO issued a Notice of Intent to Issue a Reexamination Certificate, wherein the USPTO once again stated its intent to confirm all 38 of the claims of the ’876 patent in their originally issued form. As a result, all of the originally issued claims of the ’876 patent remain valid and enforceable.
As an active member in the surface modification field, LSPT routinely reviews technical papers published on surface modification technologies. To share some of the information that is currently available in the community with our customers, we are introducing a new feature where we review a published article from the array of journals available and note a few key items. The first paper to be reviewed in this series is titled “Comparison of mechanisms of advanced mechanical surface treatments in nickel-based superalloy” by A. Gill et al. The abstract and images from the article are available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921509313004036.
This article compares the effects of cavitation peening, laser peening, and a process known as ultrasonic nano structure modification (UNSM) on IN 718 (nickel based super alloy) 2mm thick sheet. For the benefit of new readers, the article discusses the different surface modification methods in brief before diving into technical details.
Some of the finer details of the laser peening process used on the coupons, such as the overlays and application sequence, were not discussed in the article but are important characteristics in the results achieved. The resulting residual stress profiles suggested that laser peening generates compressive stresses that extend approximately 2x as deep as the other methods used. The article also discusses some of the other changes that occur to surface finish, hardness, and microstructure as a result of the different processes.
IN 718 is typically used in high temperature environments. LSPT looks forward to continued research that documents the performance of these different technologies at elevated temperatures and will be sure to add some discussion for our customers as information is released.
LSP Technologies completed its work on the SBIR II project titled “Laser Peening for Army Vehicle Life Extension”.
The overall objective of the work was to develop, optimize, and demonstrate laser peening technology specifically for rotorcraft materials and components, such as carburized steels for gear applications.
LSPT successfully demonstrated the benefits of laser peening rotorcraft materials and gear geometries and is excited about the opportunities the technological developments present. LSPT is not capable of offering these optimized processes to customers with similar engineering demands.