Laser Peening

Laser peening can surgically place exceptionally deep residual compressive stress into key areas of a component to retard crack initiation and growth enabling increased fatigue strength ratings.

Laser peening is not a replacement for controlled shot peening, but has additional advantages that can influence which method to use.

Benefits of laser shock peening

  • Deeper residual compressive stress enabling better resistance to:
    • Low cycle, high stress situations (LCF)
    • High cycle, low stress situations (HCF) in a deteriorating surface environment
    • Erosion, strike damage, fretting and corrosion
  • Less cold work enables greater retention of residual compressive stress in high load and/or thermally challenging conditions
  • No process contamination
  • Original surface finish and topography easily maintained and controlled
  • Precision process and quality control

Applications for laser peening

Laser shock Peening is been used to prolong the fatigue life of critical aerospace components such as turbine engines and aircraft structures as well as for wing skins to achieve the requirements of the new generation of intercontinental aircraft.

Laser shock peen forming essentially performs the same role as Peen Forming, but because of the greater depth of plastic work, extends the degree of curvatures possible enabling more fuel efficient profiles to be achieved.

Potential applications of laser shock peen forming have also emerged for automotive, power generation, nuclear waste disposal, drilling, medical implants and recreational sports.

Laser PeeningLaser peening process

In our laser peening process, a unique high energy laser is fired at the surface of a metal part to generate pressure pulses of one million pounds per square inch, which send shock waves through the part. Multiple firings of the laser in a pre-defined surface pattern will impart a layer of residual compressive stress that is four times deeper than that attainable from conventional peening treatments. Deeper levels of compressive stress provide greater resistance to potential fatigue and corrosion failures.

Laser Peening

Laser PeeningMobile Laser Peening
Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies developed its laser peening process in conjunction with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Our laser peening process uses a unique high energy Nd:glass laser in conjunction with precision robotics to provide consistent and repeatable coverage of the square laser spots in the desired areas of the parts to be laser peened.  The SAE has issued Specification AMS-2546 to address the recommended parameters for laser peening of metal surfaces.

Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies operates laser peening facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom. For large stationary parts, our Mobile Laser Peening Facility enables application of the laser peening technology at the customer’s site.

Contact us
Download a brochure on Laser Peening applications