Independently invented in both Germany and the US during the early 20th century, the shot peening process helps reduce the likelihood of premature equipment, component, and part failure. This is achieved by making improvements to the fatigue resistance properties of the materials used to manufacture these products. Shot peening extends a product's life considerably, saving money for the manufacturer and the end user.
Shot peening is frequently utilized to strengthen and relieve stress in an array of components. Rigid parts which are prone to damage—such as steel automobile components—can be shot peened in order to ensure longevity and safety.
Shot Peening Process
During the shot peening process, specialized equipment bombards the surface of a part with small, spherical shot. A number of media options are available for use as shot, including
- Cast steel
- Ceramic and glass beads
- Rounded cut wire
When the shot comes into contact with the part, the surface of the material yields to the tension and creates a small dimple or indentation on the part surface. Bombarding the part with shot creates overlapping indentations which form a protective compressive stress layer. This additional layer serves to strengthen the metal surface and the finished part will better resist a number of damaging factors, such as:
Why Should You Shot Peen?
There are a number of reasons to consider shot peening parts. The process is widely considered to be an affordable and potent means of creating residual compressive stresses in surfaces. Most instances of long-term component and equipment failure can be traced back to tensile stress. Creating a compressive layer and mitigating these circumstances can drastically improve the ultimate service life of a part.
Shot peening has a number of additional applications. This cold-work process improves a number of characteristics that are integral to a variety of industries and applications. Shot peening is also used to:
- Improve wear characteristics
- Eliminate porosity
- Create resistance to intergranular corrosion
- Straighten distorted parts
- Texture surfaces
- Improve the bond strength of coatings
Parts and components that have been shot peened possess increased strength, which translates to lighter-weight parts that exhibit high wear and fatigue resistance. The process essentially allows manufacturers to turn potentially fragile or easily-compromised components into sound, reliable parts with extended service lives. For example, shot peening is integral to creating aerodynamic curvatures on the metallic wing skins used in the construction of advanced aircraft.
The shot peening process is critical in the creation of many:
- Gear parts
- Clutch, coil, leaf, and suspension springs
- Turbine blades
- Steel strips, plates, sheets, and wire
Shot peening is a useful, economical process which improves the longevity of materials. Our shot peening processes rely on medium-sized wheel blast machines and air blast cabinets to stream metal particles of S70-S460 steel media and modify the mechanical properties of metals. Between our robust facilities and knowledgeable staff, we can handle a wide range of part sizes and production runs ranging from hundreds to thousands of parts. Our lead times are typically less than three days.