LSPT and GDUT Complete Design Review

Guangdong University of Technology (GDUT) is establishing a state-of-the-art Laser Peening (LSP) Facility to conduct research and development activities in the field of laser peening, peen forming, and the interaction between lasers and materials.

LSPT top management and engineers met this month in China with Guangdong University of Technology officials and professors to complete a delivery milestone of their Procudo® Laser Peening System and LSP Facility.  Professor Yongkang Zhang, the driving force behind the LSP Facility Project, moderated the meeting with LSPT’s Jeff Dulaney, CEO; David Lahrman, Vice President; Dr. David Sokol, Director of Research; Gary May, LSP Facility Project Manager, and Rick Mills, Technical Services Manager, along with GDUT professors and graduate students.  The design review included a presentation by LSPT of the two major components of the system:  the Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System and the laser peening cell.  As part of the design review, GDUT provided a tour of the facility into which the LSP Facility will be installed.  The collaboration between the two organizations is a critical element of the success of the design review.

With all major subcontractors established, the project is on schedule and within budget.  LSPT is utilizing advanced optical modeling software to design the custom beam delivery for the laser peening facility.

Dr. Sokol and David Lahrman discuss Laser Peening and Laser Bond Inspection with students at Guangdong University of Technology (GDUT)

Dr. Sokol and David Lahrman discuss Laser Peening and Laser Bond Inspection with students at Guangdong University of Technology (GDUT)

Foreign Object Damage and Laser Peening

Forged titanium gas turbine engine blades are expensive and have long lead times.  Vacuum die casting (VDC) advancements resulted in improvements to the quality of titanium alloy castings for static and rotating engine components.  Although cast components are considerably less expensive than their forged counterparts, they must (and can) have equivalent fatigue life and resistance to foreign object damage (FOD) induced crack growth to be considered for engine applications.

Laser peening has been demonstrated to be an effective technique for increasing the fatigue life of engine components and increasing their resistance to crack growth after foreign object damage (FOD).

Thermal relaxation tests, cyclic stress relaxation tests, and component fatigue test results demonstrate the benefit of laser peening vacuum die cast titanium alloy blades.  VDC produced blades have equivalent fatigue life and foreign object damage resistance as compared to similarly laser peened forged (wrought) blades.

Both cast and wrought Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2Mo samples were resistant to the thermal relaxation of compressive residual stresses at 400ºF and 900ºF.  Cast and wrought Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2Mo  and Ti-6Al-4V samples were also resistant to the relaxation of compressive residual stresses from laser peening under cyclic loading conditions.  Laser peened cast blades could cost 20-25% less than laser peened forged blades. Laser peening resulted in a 15x increase in FOD tolerance for the F101 and F110 engines, calling for a major reduction in inspection man-hour costs and increased flight safety.

You can read more about this here.

Northrop Grumman Wins Award

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California, has been awarded a $3,200,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Global Hawk development, modernization, retrofit, and sustainment activities for all Air Force variants.  Contractor will provide management, including program, business and technical areas; engineering effots, including configuration management, data management, reliability, availability and maintainability; and related areas of concern such as technical refresh, diminishing manufacturing sources, etc… This contract’s ordering period end on September 30, 2020.  Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be complete by September 30, 2025.  This award is the result  of a sole-source acquisition.  Fiscal 2013 aircraft initial spares and repair parts procurement funds in the amount of $6,281,178 are being obligated at the time of award.  Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the primary contracting activity, while Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, may place orders against this contract (FA8620-15-D-3009).

For more information on Northrop Grumman’s award, click here.