…..In laser shock peening, the surface of the media is first coated with an ablative layer and covered with a water tamping layer. A high-energy laser beam is fired at the metal, which creates an area of plasma on the metal’s surface. The impact creates a shock wave, which travels through the metal, and compressive residual stresses remain. This compression helps improve the metal’s damage tolerance, fatigue life and strength……
as written in a Navy news report published on Navy.mil
With technology verification and industry preparations already underway,
laser shock peening will formally begin next year at a new F-35 depot facility now being finalized.
The 16,000-square-foot facility comprises two bays, where the actual laser shock peening process will take place, and a connected area that will house the laser generator, Crisp added in the Navy report.
Laser peening will replace the legacy approach, called “Shot peening,” which sprays solid material such as glass beads or metals in kind of a sandblast fashion, Crisp explained.
“(shot peening)You just randomly throw it at the surface, and it creates all these surface dimples.
What you get is a very inconsistent surface profile, because it’s not controlled,”
Matthew Crisp, the F-35 Joint Program Office site lead at FRCE. (Fleet Readiness Center East).