Laser shock peening (LSP) is a very important post processing method for improving the reliability, lifetime and safety of critical jet aircraft engine turbine blades. The LSP process is limited to the currently available laser system pulse energy and spot sizes. There is a continuous need for process improvements and optimization.
This invention proposes using a pulse laser configured to generate laser pulses and a controller for controlling operation of the pulse laser. The controller is further configured to control the pulse laser to cause the pulse laser to generate at least one of the laser pulses with a spatiotemporally varying laser fluence over a duration of at least one of the laser pulses. The spatiotemporally formatted laser pulse is configured to enable a faster, more effective, laser shot peening process.
Image Caption: Laser peening induces deep compressive stress, which significantly extends the service lifetime over any conventional treatment.
The principal advantages of this invention are:
- Enables higher efficiency laser shot peening process.
- Reduces the number of laser shot peening impacts to achieve 100% coverage by an order of magnitude.
- Results in deeper (several mm) plastic deformation of the material.
- Laser shot peening of aircraft engine turbine blades.
- Laser shot peening to improve reliability of critical metal components subject to fatigue failure.