Wright Dialogue with Industry

July 20-21, 2011
Hope Hotel & Conference Center
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio

LSP Technologies is proud to attend again this year to discuss it’s laser peening process and services as well as it’s laser bond inspection process.

The following is taken from their website:
The Dayton Area Defense Contractors Association (DaytonDefense) will sponsor the fifth “Wright Dialogue with Industry” conference on July 20-21, 2011 at the Hope Hotel and Conference Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.

The purpose of this conference is to help promote economic development activity among local defense contractors and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Please plan to attend this year’s Wright Dialogue with Industry to hear first-hand from key leaders of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) organization as they discuss both current and future business opportunities.  There will be opportunities throughout the day for more detailed breakout sessions where you can pose your particular questions to the Laboratory representatives. Throughout the course of the event, there will be time to network and discuss opportunities to do business in greater detail with AFRL.


Laser Peening Proves to be the Solution for the B-1B Lancer’s Engine Failures

Beginning in 1991, the B-1B Lancer’s F101 engine began experiencing failures of titanium turbine blades due to foreign object damage (FOD) caused by ice and hard objects ingested into the engine. Chunks of blades that broke loose, in some cases, did irreparable damage to the rest of the engine. To avoid grounding the B-1 fleet, the Air Force required a manual inspection of all the fan blades before each flight. The time-consuming leading edge inspections involved rubbing the leading edge with cotton balls, cotton gloves and even dental floss. If a single snag was detected, the blade was replaced prior to the next flight. In 1994, over one million man-hours at a cost of $10 million per year were required to complete the engine inspections and keep the B-1 flying.

General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE) investigated an innovative technology, called Laser Shock Peening (or laser peening), as a potential solution to increase the durability of titanium fan blades and decrease the sensitivity to FOD. Laser peening uses a high energy laser pulse to create an intense shock wave into the surface of metal parts. The shock wave imparts deep compressive residual stresses, which greatly improve the blade’s fatigue properties and toughness.

The high cycle fatigue performance of laser peened blades is remarkable. Damage to an F101 blade can reduce the fatigue strength from about 75 ksi to less than 20 ksi, which is less than half of the design requirement. However, when laser peened blades are comparably damaged, they retain a fatigue strength of 75-100 ksi. Thus, laser peening restores the structural integrity of damaged fan blades! Sensitivity to FOD defects up to 1/4 of an inch in F101 blades was virtually eliminated.

In 1995, the USAF authorized the production development of laser peening, bringing this technology out of the lab and into a production environment. Jeff Dulaney founded LSP Technologies, Inc. (LSPT) in 1995 to provide laser peening equipment and services to industry and the U.S. military. By 1997, GEAE had proven the beneficial effects of laser peening and began production application to F101 blades, using four laser peening systems designed and built by LSPT.

Application of laser peening avoided over $59 million in blade replacement costs, secondary damage engine repair costs, and cost avoidance from airfoil failures. Avoiding catastrophic engine failures over the remaining life of the B-1B/F101 program is estimated to have saved another $40 million.

Due to this success, laser peening was applied to solve similar problems for the F110 engine blades for the F-16 Falcon, and the USAF estimates similar cost savings to the B-1B/F101 program.

LSP Technologies, Inc. has continued to improve LaserPeen® processing equipment and processing methods. With the newest generation of LaserPeen® processing equipment and the RapidCoater™ system for automating the coating overlays used in the process, LSPT has reduced the cost of LaserPeen® processing dramatically making the process affordable for many new applications!

Overall, the potential savings from laser peening are expected to easily approach $1 billion when calculating this impact over all engines in the Air Force fleet!

Preventing Fatigue Failures with Laser Peening

Originally published in Amptiac Quarterly, Volume 7 Number 2, 2003

Authored by Richard D. Tenaglia David F. Lahrman LSP Technologies, Inc. & David W. See AFRL/MLMP?

Laser peening is an innovative surface enhancement processed to increase the resistance of aircraft gas turbine engine compressor and fan blades to foreign object damage (FOD) and improve high cycle fatigue (HCF) life. [1,2,3,4] The process creates residual compressive stresses deep into part surfaces – typically five to ten times deeper than conventional metal shot peening. These comprehensive surface stresses inhibit the initiation and propagation of fatigue cracks. Laser peening has been particularly effective in aircraft engine titanium alloy fan and compressor blades, however the potential application of this process is much broader, encompassing automotive parts, orthopedic implants, tooling and dies, and more. Significant progress has been made to lower the cost and increase the throughput of the process, making it affordable for numerous applications from gas turbine engines to aircraft structures, land vehicles, weapon systems, as well as general industrial use. Laser peening may also be referred to as laser shock processing (LSP), and various other commercial trade names. This paper reviews the status of laser peening technology, material property enhancements, and potential applications.

To download the entire article- as a pdf: Preventing Fatigue Failures with Laser Peening