Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to conduct a comparative study of the surface modifications induced by two different lasers on a 2050‐T8 aluminum alloy, with a specific consideration of residual stress and work‐hardening levels. Design/methodology/approach – Two lasers have been used for Laser shock peening (LSP) treatment in water‐confined regime: a Continuum Powerlite Plus laser, operating at 0.532 mm with 9 ns laser pulses, and near 1.5mm spot diameters; a new generation Gaia‐R Thales laser delivering 10 J‐10 ns impacts, with 4‐6mm homogeneous laser spots at 1.06 mm. Surface deformation, work‐hardening levels and residual stresses were analyzed for both LSP conditions. Residual stresses were compared with numerical simulations using a 3D finite element (FE) model, starting with the validation of surface deformations induced by a single laser impact. Findings – Similar surface deformations and work‐hardening levels, but relatively lower residual stresses were obtained with the new large 4‐6 mm impact configuration. This was attributed to a reduced number of local cyclic loadings (2) compared with the small impact configuration (4). Additionally, more anisotropic stresses were obtained with small impacts. FE simulations using Johnson‐Cook's material' behavior were shown to simulate accurately surface deformations, but to overestimate maximum stress levels. Research limitations/implications – This work should provide LSP workers a better understanding of the possible benefits from the different LSP configurations currently co‐existing: using small (<2 mm) impacts at high‐cadency rates or large ones (>4‐5 mm). Moreover, experimental results and simulated data had never been presented on 2050‐T8 Al alloy. Originality/value – An experimental (and numerical) comparison using two distinct laser sources for LSP, has never been presented before. This preliminary work should help LSP workers to choose adequate sources.
International Journal of Structural Integrity – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 8, 2011
Keywords: Stress (materials); Alloys; Simulation
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