LSP Technologies partners with VEXTEC to enhance fatigue and performance predictions
LSP Technologies Inc. and VEXTEC of Brentwood, Tenn., have won a $150,000 Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to focus on expanding the understanding and prediction of shockwave effects in materials during laser shock peening.
“The grant will help us accelerate the development of more refined modeling, not only for defense applications, but ultimately for civilian applications as well,” said Stan Bovid, LSP Technologies Director of Materials Research.
“We’re going to greatly enhance our capabilities to predict laser shockwave effects in materials by combining experimental measurements with modeling and simulation tools. Ultimately, our research will help tie all the shockwave physics together to predict residual stress fields in geometries and the corresponding service life benefits,” Bovid said.
“Several approaches to predicting service life extension have been examined and utilized in the past, but for specific geometries and materials those prior approaches were incomplete.
“With new tools, we’re able to measure and predict how materials respond in a dynamic environment and ensure all process considerations have been addressed regardless of the material and geometry. This predictive capability can then be utilized in studying residual stress fields and in the impact on fatigue crack mitigation,” he added.
In the application for SBIR funding, LSP Technologies noted that it has assumed a leading role in modeling laser peening and how to validate its benefits for metal alloys.
“This project presents an opportunity to utilize these capabilities to develop validated computational tools for predicting LSP residual stress” and how it can add to the life expectancy of metal components, according to the application. “The in-house capabilities at LSPT to predict, process, and validate LSP conditions allows for more variational studies than possible through outsourced organizations.”
As a principal researcher for the grant, Bovid will work with Dr. Micheal Kattoura, an LSPT Materials Research Engineer, on the project, as well as VEXTEC, whose predictive fatigue software – VPS-MICRO® – is based in ICME (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering).
VPS-MICRO is a unique probabilistic, physics-based simulation software for metals, and will be used in this Phase 1 to model effects on durability of LSP-deformed microstructure and predicted residual stresses. Dr. Robert Tryon, Chief Technical Officer and a co-founder of VEXTEC, represents the company as co-applicant for the SBIR grant.
“This funding signifies the Department of Defense’s commitment to development and integration of novel analytical techniques, with the goal of predicting key process-property-performance interrelationships for effective product lifecycle management,” Dr. Tryon said. “VEXTEC is excited to be working with LSP Technologies to meet these objectives.”
“Gas-turbine engine materials and airfoil designs are fascinating and have pushed the engineering technology limits for years,” Bovid said. “Including technologies that add performance capability without sacrificing reliability, such as laser shock peening, is crucial to achieving higher performing engines.
“Presently we are focused on the cold section (compressor) of engine designs, but substantial opportunities also exist in the hot sections with similar considerations. Moving forward, the modeling and simulation tools we are developing with this grant can be leveraged into other materials and applications – not just turbine engines but for every industry.” Bovid said.