Predictive Crack Growth Technique for Laser Peening Process Development
Abstract: Laser peening (LP) has shown excellent fatigue life extension in numerous tests with typical treatments garnering 2-4 times the fatigue performance of an untreated component. Initially, large test programs were implemented to determine the best LP parameters for a given scenario, eventually being augmented by physics-based modeling due to the large design space available to the LP process. Approval for these processes continues to be on a case-by-case basis, contingent on multiple factors: cost, applicability, time, % fatigue life extension, and ability to track crack growth. Because LP induces compressive residual stresses in the near surface region, the compensatory tensile residual stresses are shifted sub-surface. While an axial tensile load would be mitigated by surface compressive stresses, sub-surface a crack can propagate rapidly via tensile stresses. Current predictive methods lack the ability to track this sub-surface behavior, limiting the accuracy of fatigue crack growth predictions throughout the various design stages of an LP treatment. This work demonstrates a framework that incorporates user-defined geometry, material data, crack growth data, mechanical loading, and residual stresses to predict the crack front shape evolution in 3D solids. A baseline case with no residual stresses is simulated and compared with a closed form solution.
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The software provides a highly reliable and user-friendly production stress analysis tool that will replace the Finite Element Method (FEM) tools and failure criteria the experts currently employ for analyzing bonded joints. The software includes an FEM-based handbook format, which allows non-experts to utilize models prepared by specialists. The handbook problems include built-in failure criteria, geometric and material nonlinearities, and the modern FEM technology provides better error control and the treatment of very large aspect ratios.”
Dr. Stephen P. EngelstadTechnical Fellow, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Structural Methods and Analysis