2009, pp 383-398

Characterisation of Residual Stresses Generated by Laser Shock Peening by Neutron and Synchrotron Diffraction

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Abstract

The fatigue behaviour of engineering alloys can be significantly improved through the application of mechanical surface treatments. These processes generate significant compressive residual stresses near surface by inhomogeneous plastic deformation. In the case of mechanical surface treatments such as laser shock peening, certain burnishing and rolling techniques and ultrasonic impact treatment (UIT), the compressive residual stress layer can extend to a depth of the order of millimeters, with balancing tensile stresses located deeper. Techniques to characterise the residual stresses generated by such mechanical surface treatments non-destructively are mainly limited to diffraction methods using penetrating neutron and synchrotron X-ray radiations. The application of these radiation sources is illustrated here by the characterisation of residual strain distributions in a two types of specimens treated with laser shock peening (LSP). Analyses of diffraction peak broadening provide qualitative information concerning the depth to which the plastic deformation of the treatments extends. Two case studies of laser shock peening of titanium and aluminium alloys is presented to demonstrate the capabilities of neutron and synchrotron diffraction techniques in the field of residual stress characterisation of surface engineered material non-destructively.