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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Five Key Facts About Laser Peening

The World’s Most Powerful Surface Enhancement Technology

Laser peening is a fascinating marriage of electromagnetic physics and materials science. The process uses high-energy lasers to strengthen metals, producing robust components that are highly resistant to failure. Laser peening (LSP for short) plays a critical role enhancing critical parts for critical industries. You’ll find laser peened parts in aircraft engines, power plants, and heavy machinery around the world.

If you’re new to the world of laser peening, we’ve got a wealth of technical content available at your fingertips. (Check out our library of papers and patents!) But before taking that deep dive, here are five interesting facts to put this revolutionary enhancement process in perspective.

1) Light Can Strengthen Steel

It’s worth taking a step back to consider the awesome implications of peening metal with lasers. We’re using pulses of light to strengthen steel and titanium, replacing old-world peening techniques with new-age technology.

blacksmith hammering hot glowing metal piece wearing heavy gloves

Metal enhancement has come a long way

It used to be done with hammers. The rounded head of a ball peen has long been used by blacksmiths to pound and shape forged components. These brute-force blows put compressive stresses into tools and armor, but their enhancement benefits weren’t fully realized until the 1920s when a budding auto industry adopted shot peening to strengthen springs.

Shot peening is another brute-force enhancement method using high-velocity impacts to generate compressive stress. The process requires thousands of pellets or particles, launched toward a workpiece to produce a thin accumulation of surface compression. It’s messy and imprecise, and the benefits extend just fractions of a millimeter beneath the surface.

Laser peening transcends the old barrage-based methods, taking surface enhancement to another level. Coherent photon pulses impart compressive stresses many times deeper than hammers or shot pellets could ever achieve. With all due respect to the burly blacksmiths of the world, laser peening has moved metal enhancement out of the dark ages with blasts of light.

2) Plasma Does the Work

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Laser Peening Ceramics: Next-Gen Enhancement for Next-Gen Components

Laser shock peening is the next generation of material improvement. This powerful surface enhancement process improves metal fatigue strength up to twenty times – providing invaluable service life extensions for critical components. Though traditionally applied to steels, titanium, and other metals, laser peening is now proving a valuable application for a new class of material: engineered ceramics.

Space shuttle in orbit with earth backdrop

The NASA Space Shuttle incorporated ceramic tiles for high heat resistance

Ceramic engineering involves manufacturing objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials like silicon or zirconia. Ceramic parts offer several key advantages over their metal components in that they are lighter, noncorrosive, and offer superior heat resistance.

Ceramics in Aerospace

Ceramic materials have been used in targeted aerospace applications for years, providing thermal protection and insulation for the Space Shuttle to withstand the extreme temperatures of atmospheric reentry. As ceramic engineering has evolved, these versatile materials have been employed in applications ranging from brake pads to ball bearings to bulletproof vests. Continue reading

Fatigue Enhancement with Power and Control

Beneficial Compressive Residual Stresses

Fatigue strength improvements are proportional to the magnitude and depth of induced compressive residual stresses present in a component. Deeper compressive residual stresses provide superior resistance to crack propagation and fatigue failure. Laser peening typically produces compressive residual stresses up to 10X deeper than competing surface enhancement processes.

So how does laser peening produce effective compressive residual stress profiles? LSPT engineers control the depth and magnitude of compressive residual stresses by increasing the power density and coverage of the laser pulse.

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