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Laser shock Peening

Suresh D. Bhaisare

Laser shock peening (LSP) is an advanced surface enhancement
technique for metallic materials to improve fatigue, corrosion and
wearing resistance.
LSP is a transient process with laser pulse duration time on the
order of 10 ns.
LSP impart compressive residual stresses in material for
improving fatigue, corrosion and wear resistance of metal
LSP can extend residual stresses deeper below the surface than
those from shot peening.
FEM simulation is an effective method to predict mechanical
effects induced in the material treated by LSP.
Work on the 3-D FEM simulation of the LSP process to predict
the residual stress field and the surface deformation is still too

LSP works by exerting a mechanical force on the
surface of the material.
Shocked surface is not affected thermally.
A high-intensity laser beam (1-10 GW/cm2)
combined with suitable overlays is used to generate
mechanical pressure waves up to several Gpa.
The metallic surface is coated with an overlay
opaque to laser beam (typically a black paint) and
then covered with a transparent overlay, which is a
dielectric material transparent to laser beam (such as


Opaque overlay acts as a sacrificial material, a

thin layer of which vaporizes on absorption of
laser energy.
If the specimen surface is submerged in a
transparent media, the rapidly expanding plasma
cannot escape and the resulting shock wave is
transmitted into the specimen subsurface.
The shock pressure can result in the plastic
deformation and favourable compressive residual
stresses on the surface.
The transient shock waves can also induce
microstructure changes near the surface and
cause high density of dislocations to be formed.

Schematic of the LSP

FEM simulation strategy

If the pressure of the shock wave exceeds the dynamic
yield strength of the material, the material will undergo
extremely high strain-rate (106-108 s-1) during a short
period of time (in ns) and be dynamically yielded.
Response of the material changes rapidly as the
pressure pulse duration is very short and the load is
very severe.
Response of the target material will take much longer
to become stable.
The high-speed dynamic deformation processes tend
to generate a large amount of elastic strain energy in
the material.


The elastic strain energy which has been stored in

the material after performing the explicit
dynamic analysis, is subsequently released if the
solution time of the explicit analysis is long
enough, but it will be time costly.
Performing an explicit-to-implicit sequential
solution will be necessary to release all the elastic
strain energy efficiently and the final stable
desired residual stress field can be obtained.
Hence, FEM analysis procedure of LSP should be
composed of two distinct parts including dynamic
and static analysis to obtain an absolutely stable
residual stress field and surface deformation.

Dynamic analysis is adopted to simulate the
propagation of the shock wave.
When the dynamic stress state of the target
material becomes approximately stable, all
transient stress will be imported into implicit
FEM codes to perform static analysis to obtain
the residual stress field.
LS-DYNA and ANSYS are used for dynamic and
static analysis respectively.

The pressure time history is assumed to be
known in advance because the simulation
procedure does not explicitly model the
physical process of the pressure pulse
Because of the narrow duration of the
pressure pulse induced by LSP, the pressure
time history is modelled as a triangular ramp
in the simulation.

As the strain-rate increases, materials typically
exhibit little change in elastic modulus, but an
increase in yield strength and the event
becomes a shock wave phenomenon.
When the pressure is greater than HEL,
permanent deformation occurs.

FE Model
Model is symmetric.
It is subjected to symmetric uniform pressure
pulse, only a quarter of the configuration is
used to perform finite element calculation.
Non-reflecting boundaries are used to prevent
stress wave reflections generated at the
boundary from re-entering the model and
contaminating the results.

Schematic of 3-D model

Solution time choosing

To accurately capture the dynamic response of the
material, the solution time must take much longer than
the duration of the pressure pulse.
Solution time could be set as two orders of the
magnitude longer than the pressure pulse duration.
When K.E.0 & I.E.Const simultaneously, it indicates
that the interaction of the stress waves in the material
is quite weak and the dynamic stress state is driven to
be stable.
Hence, it can be chosen as the solution time for the
dynamic analysis.

Expected Results
Residual stresses will imparts 1mm from top
The maximum compressive residual stress is
often formed at the surface of the workpiece and
decreases in magnitude with increasing depth
below the surface.
Increasing the laser intensity increases both the
stress magnitude and affected depth.
Larger spot sizes have less energy attenuation
and cause more plastic deformation.