LSP Technologies grows quickly, looks for larger facilities

Employees who joined LSP Technologies in the last two years now have input into key new initiatives.

Dublin, Ohio – August 16, 2018 – LSP Technologies, Inc. (LSPT), the leader in laser peening systems to enhance metal fatigue life, has added more than 27 engineering and technical support employees over the last two years, doubling in size and spurring the company to seek larger facilities in Central Ohio.

The new staff include optical, mechanical, and materials science engineers, as well as product design and technical project managers with experience in nuclear and fossil power generation, heavy equipment and aviation technologies.

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LSP Technologies’ Portable Laser Peening System combats metal fatigue in hard-to-reach parts

The laser source for the Portable Laser Peening System provides adaptability for fiber optic transmission of the laser beam, as well as a smaller size.

The laser source for the Portable Laser Peening System provides adaptability for fiber optic transmission of the laser beam, as well as a smaller size — less than a meter long.

Fiber optics and custom tools will carry miniaturized laser peening technology to mission-critical components

Dublin, Ohio – August 6, 2018 – LSP Technologies is designing a new portable fiber-optic laser peening system to improve fatigue life and prevent cracking and corrosion for small, hard-to-reach parts in new applications.

The Portable Laser Peening System will include miniature mirrors, lenses, and water injection/extraction mechanisms for complex maintenance, repair, and manufacturing environments. This means the portable system will deliver effective laser peening with lower energy, higher pulse rates, and the maneuverability of fiber optics.

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LSP Technologies wins customers in new markets

The Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System has a compact layout.

The Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System has a compact layout. Embedded laser optics fit easily on a 4’x6′ optical table.

Dublin, Ohio – LSP Technologies, Inc. (LSPT) is launching new applications for its patented Laser Peening Process to serve the nuclear power, heavy equipment, and aircraft maintenance industries.

Precision, portability, and cost-effectiveness help open markets for the Procudo® Laser Peening System

New customers are adopting LSPT’s Procudo® Laser Peening Systems due to their precision, flexibility, low cost, and higher throughput rates, said President and CEO Jeff Dulaney.

LSPT’s patented Laser Peening Systems use a pulsed shock wave from high-energy lasers to enhance the ability of parts to resist foreign object damage (FOD), stress corrosion, and metal cracking.

“Our Laser Peening Systems increase the service life of many metal components by 10-20 times,” Dulaney said. LSPT’s metal stress modeling identifies stress points and enables precisely calibrated laser pulses for fatigue life improvement without damaging metal surfaces the way shot peening usually does, he said.

“The Procudo® Laser Peening System is the only commercially available laser peening equipment capable of a wide variety of customer applications,” he explained. “We can install the equipment in customer manufacturing and maintenance facilities.”

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Laser peening stabilizes parts at high temperatures

Testing at up to 1,200℉ shows laser peening promotes  microstructural integrity and stability

Micheal Kattoura of LSP Technologies

LSP Technologies Materials Research Engineer Micheal Kattoura

LSP Technologies, Inc.’s Micheal Kattoura presented findings on the stabilizing effects of laser peening for metal parts subject to high-temperature conditions at the 18th International Conference on the Strength of Metals (www.icsma18.org) July 16 at The Ohio State University’s Ohio Union.

Kattoura serves as a Materials Research Engineer for LSP Technologies (LSPT), providing expertise in both materials science and applied mechanics to quantify metal improvement benefits from LSPT’s laser peening systems in a variety of commercial applications.

“My research on this project underscored the benefits of the laser peening process for metal fatigue strength, even at elevated operational temperatures of 650℃ , or 1,200℉,” Kattoura said. “Metals we laser peened and tested at these elevated temperatures were able to retain a large amount of residual compressive stresses and stable microstructure created by the laser peening process.”

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Laser Peening Cell Now at ZAL in Hamburg

LSP Technologies and the laser peening cell at ZAL, including a robot in the research and technology cell.

Members of the ZAL Laser Peening System acceptance team (clockwise from top-left): Marco Pacchione, Dr. Dominico Furfari, and Dr. Claudio Delle Donne, Airbus; David F. Lahrman, LSP Technologies; Martin Eberle, Airbus; Dr. David Osman Busse, Dr. Robby Technow, and Thorsten Sharowsky, ZAL.

The installation of LSP Technology’s Procudo® Laser Peening System at the ZAL TechCenter in Hamburg, Germany, became the cover story for the July 2018 issue of Metal Finishing News (MFN). The magazine highlighted the many applications of Laser Peening ZAL hopes to explore for the aerospace industry, collaborating with Airbus Industries, Lufthansa and LSP Technologies. Here is MFN’s original version in PDF format.  

The aerospace industry has been driving innovation since the earliest days of flight. It takes a lot to defy gravity, to soar across oceans or eclipse the speed of sound. It takes research and foresight, confidence and cunning, a commitment to solving problems and anticipating risk. This mentality has defined aviation for generations, and some of humanity’s great advancements came from our quest to conquer the clouds.

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Laser Peening Explained in Five Minutes

What is Laser Peening?

Laser peening is a surface enhancement method for improving metal fatigue strength and damage tolerance by inhibiting crack growth. The process is often called Laser Shock Peening (LSP) because it uses a powerful shockwave to plastically deform the metal and produce compressive residual stress.

In principle, laser peening is similar to shot peening, but it produces deeper and stronger compressive stress. This difference can be great – 10X deeper or more for laser peened components. As a result, laser peened parts can last 10X longer as crack propagation is slowed or halted altogether.

Chart showing laser peening effect on fatigue life improvement

How Does Laser Peening Work?

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LSP Technologies’ Quality Management System Certified to AS9100D

LSP Technologies (LSPT) has been laser peening aerospace parts for over fifteen years. The company was founded to fill a void in the commercial market for laser peening services and has since grown into an industry powerhouse.

In order to effectively serve manufacturers in a quality-focused industry, LSPT has developed and maintained a robust Quality Management System (QMS). Having recently enhanced our QMS, LSPT is proud to announce we’ve been certified to the latest revision of the AS9100D quality standard.

AS9100 is a widely standardized quality management system used by aerospace manufacturers and suppliers around the world. It was established in 1999 and has since gone through several revisions as new requirements are added. The latest update, AS9100 Revision D, includes expanded clauses dealing with product safety, counterfeit parts prevention and risk management. You can read more about the latest revision here, or visit SAE International to purchase a copy of the standard.

LSPT has been preparing for the latest AS9100 revision for some time, working through an internal quality committee and process champions to ensure a holistic approach to QMS compliance. LSPT Quality Manager Brian Brown has overseen the transition and shepherded the organization through successful integration of a revised QMS.

LSPT’s Quality Policy highlights the organization’s core objectives:

LSP Technologies quality policy

We provide services and equipment that enhance the satisfaction of our customers, and we continually work to improve the effectiveness of our processes.

These core principles have guided LSPT through fifteen years providing metal enhancement solutions for the aerospace industry, but our commitment to quality has never been exclusive to our aerospace partners. LSPT brings this same focus to all business relationships, and we’re committed to serving customers from all industries with the same level of excellence in service.

Discover the LSPT difference. Check out our new quality certificate and read our recent interview with Quality Manager Brian Brown.

We’re here to add value to your business.

Contact us today to learn more.


Dispelling Four Myths About Laser Peening

 

Laser shock peening (LSP) is a powerful process for enhancing metal parts. Laser peening improves metal fatigue resistance, enabling OEMs and their customers to get more out of high-value components. LSP has been around for decades, yet there are still plenty of myths and misunderstandings surrounding this surface enhancement solution.

Picture of gears with the words "myth" and "fact"Myth #1: Laser peening is just a high-tech version of shot peening.

Many people still erroneously equate laser peening with shot peening, but these applications remain worlds apart in both their capabilities and results.

Shot peening bombards a metal surface with little pellets or balls. Laser peening uses high-energy light pulses to generate powerful plasma explosions. Do those two processes sound at all like the same thing?

Imagine I gave you two options: Catch a fastball from a professional baseball pitcher or catch a burning stick of dynamite. It’s no contest, right? A 100-mph fastball will make your hand sting, but a LITERAL EXPLOSION will remove that hand altogether.

This gives you a sense of the magnitude discrepancy between these surface enhancement treatments. Shot peening is archaic, shallow, and imprecise. Laser peening is deep, powerful, and cutting-edge.

There are countless advantages to laser peening over shot peening, but the biggest difference simply comes down to results: Laser peening generates deeper compressive stress for longer lasting parts. In some cases, the residual stress depth and part life extensions surpass shot peening by an order of magnitude.

There really is no comparison. And yet the myth persists – possibly perpetuated by shot peening providers? Some even refer to laser peening as “Laser Shot Peening”, which is a woeful misnomer akin to calling your 3D printer a “Laser Forge”.

Myth #2: Laser peening is a thermal process

When most people think of industrial lasers, they typically picture welding, cutting, or drilling. These processes use the laser beam as a concentrated heat source to melt or remove material, relying mainly on thermal energy to do the work. Lasers are great for these applications because they deliver carefully calibrated energy with high precision. A laser can apply intense heat to a targeted area while leaving the surrounding material relatively unaffected.

Illustration of the laser peening process including laser beam, process overlays, plasma burst, and shockwave propagation into componentLaser peening operates on a slightly different principle. For one, it’s a pulsed laser application, meaning the energy is delivered in short pulses rather than a continuous beam. Each pulse lasts just a few billionths of a second, and the thermal load transferred to the metal is limited. These short, concentrated pulses generate plasma bursts on the part surface, and that plasma powers a mechanical shockwave which does the work in the part.

Laser peening is all about that shockwave. (That’s why it’s called laser shock peening.) The shockwave energy propagates into the material producing compressive residual stress. The more powerful the shockwave, the deeper and more robust the compressive stress. The energy in the shockwave isn’t derived from the heat of the laser, but rather the pressure generated by rapidly expanding plasma on the metal surface.

Laser peening is a means of turning light energy into mechanical work.

Myth #3: Laser peening is only for aerospace

Laser peening was born out of a need for superior cracking prevention in aircraft engine components. It was first adopted by the U.S. Air Force and major engine manufacturers. This was a natural fit as aircraft engine blades operate at high performance thresholds and have high consequences of failure.

After demonstrating major benefits in aerospace, LSP adoption quickly spread to gas turbine manufacturing for the power generation industry. Laser peening was shown to reduce costly inspection and maintenance requirements, and the nuclear industry also developed LSP applications to extend the service life of critical infrastructure.

Each successive year has brought new industries and applications into the fold as manufacturers seek superior enhancement to get more life out of components. Laser peening is as versatile as it is powerful, making it a veritable Swiss army knife for metal enhancement applications.

Composite image of different metals including steel, titanium, and bronze

Laser peening works on all metals

A few key points:

  • Laser peening works on all metals, with a wide range of power densities and application patterns to enhance any surface.
  • Laser peening is a precision application that delivers targeted enhancement where components need it most.
  • Laser peening applications can be reliably modeled to optimize process parameters before a single pulse is fired.

The potential applications for laser peening are limited only by our willingness to explore them. Aerospace and power gen manufacturers were early adopters because the benefits were clear on their high-value equipment. Now, as laser peening production costs continue to decrease, a whole host of new industries can get in on the savings as we dispel our final myth…

Myth #4: Laser peening is too expensive

It’s easy to understand what’s contributed to this myth. Laser peening sounds high-tech, sophisticated, and presumably expensive. However recent innovations have led to significant declines in production costs, and the ROI associated with component life extension pays for itself many times over.

In the early days, laser peening equipment was fairly costly and slow. First-generation systems delivered one pulse every few seconds, limiting production throughput and keeping costs high.

Fast-forward to today, and everything has changed. Laser peening processing rates have improved many times over, and the knowledge around LSP applications is growing by leaps and bounds.

PROCUDO® Laser Peening System on a Neutral BackgroundA major factor has been advancements in laser technology, and the move from flashlamp pumped laser systems to those powered by diodes. Diode-pumped systems are vastly more efficient and can speed up processing rates by a factor of ten.

LSP Technologies’ diode-pumped Procudo® Laser Peening System operates at speeds up to 20 Hz. This substantial improvement in production throughput lowers the cost of processing each part. Automation solutions and advancements in robotics allow for seamless automated part-handling, and the growing knowledge base around LSP is accelerating application development and qualification.

All this adds up to cheaper production costs that are making laser peening accessible to new industries. Meanwhile, the cost savings associated with component life extension, failure prevention, and reduced maintenance requirements provide a clear return on investment that is unmatched by other surface treatment applications.

The bottom line: this ain’t your granddad’s laser peening. Today’s equipment is faster, more efficient, and optimized for high-volume production processing. Laser peening can deliver a 10X improvement on shot peening and the ROI speaks for itself.

Don’t believe the myths.

Connect with an expert at LSPT to learn more.