Laser Peen Forming

Laser-Driven Shaping, Straightening, and Forming

Explore Possibilities

Laser peen forming is a powerful, laser-based method of shaping metal parts to specific geometric configurations.

We use finite element modeling and precision laser peening patterns to shape metal into precise contours and angles.

The process is predictable and precise. Laser peen forming can be used for initial part fabrication, repair and replacement of complex curved parts, or to straighten tubes, rods, and flat surfaces with precision.

Turning complex curves and shapes into fully formed components

Using laser peen forming opens up so many possibilities for metal part fabrication and repairs. An aluminum ship hull, for example, requires a precisely curved patch that must meet arduous environmental and safety standards. Manufactured tubing must be straightened to an order of magnitude beyond normal fabrication standards for a demanding application. The combination of FEA modeling and precise application of laser peening can shape, re-shape, or straighten components for mission-critical applications.

laser peen forming - fea
laser peen forming - demo part
laser peen forming sample


Laser peen forming is possible thanks to the predictable distributions of plastic strain imparted by the laser peening process. Because these distributions are readily responsive to today’s analytical modeling tools, we can use Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to simulate the imparted plastic strain along with the elastic response of the surrounding material. This allows accurate, scalable predictions that translate into a vast array of unique curvatures and shapes.

Materials processed with laser peen forming include aluminum alloys of varying thicknesses (0.1 inch to 0.5 inch) and heat-treated tempers. LSPT’s modeling capability guides the laser peen forming process to achieve specific part geometries within each variation of material. Validation of the modeling efforts have been completed via physical measurement of post-processed samples, and exhibit physical results that nominally agree with modeling predictions within a 5% accuracy.


Another benefit of laser peen forming lies in the selective application of this method to distorted components. The laser peening process can reshape and return non-conforming components to acceptable geometric tolerance bands, without bulk plastic deformation that may otherwise damage the structure. Due to the precision modeling and application capabilities of laser peen forming, it has been used to mitigate distortions in engine crankshafts with eccentric lobes.

What to Expect?

  • Compressive stresses on processed and flexed surfaces
  • Compensating tensile stresses distributed through the core
  • Increased stress corrosion resistance
  • Increased fatigue performance
  • Surface finish modification from laser spot impressions
  • Gradual geometry changes
Compressive stresses on flexed surfaces
Distribution of tensile stresses
Gradual geometry changes

Figure 1: Compressive stresses on flexed surfaces

Maximum deformation depends on material thickness. Forming is adjustable up to the maximum deformation by controlling power density, pulse width, and layers.

Additional constraint can preferentially mitigate or enhance deformation.

  • Free Form The part is held at a benign location. The laser beam is then directed to target locations and progressively forms the part.
  • Elastic Pre-Strain To modify standard strain input, a part is constrained or pre-strained.
  • Combinational Laser peen forming combined with a mechanical forming operation.


The technology can be applied to aviation, maritime (including repairs), and other industries where precise metal shaping is required. LSP Technologies models different modes of laser peen forming and uses a variety of laser peening parameters to achieve the desired shape.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulates the imparted plastic strain along with the elastic response of the surrounding material. This allows accurate, scalable predictions.

  • Finite element model of specimen with dual compound curvatures
  • Physical specimen processed in accordance with model plan
  • Cross-section view of engine crankshaft exhibiting unbalanced residual stresses due to eccentricity and deformation predicted due to unbalanced residual stresses
  • Optimization of shaping treatment to correct unbalanced residual stresses identified by red areas at the eccentric lobe fillet. Cross sectional of crankshaft with predicted deformation when corrective laser peening applied
Dual compound curvatures
Accordance with model plan
Cross-sectional view of engine crankshaft
Corrective laser peening applied

Figure 1: Dual compound curvatures

Talk to an Expert About Laser Peen Forming

Laser peen forming has numerous applications for fabrication and repair of parts with complex curves.

Laser peen straightening is a service life extension treatment that mitigates component distortion while improving fatigue strength of the part.

In both processes, LSP Technologies’ successful modeling and application of controlled plastic strain improves both geometric tolerances and residual stress profiles for enhanced reliability and performance.

Are you interested in learning more on how Laser Peen Forming works and the benefits you’ll see for your components? Talk with us to discover how Laser Peen Forming can add efficiency and precision for your applications.

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