Shot Peening For Industrial Processes

The German Friends across the channel are renowned for their engineering, and of course they produce quality composite materials, or in this case a material that has been worked hardened using a little-known but highly useful method called kugelstrahlen. This is a German word that translates into shot peening, but there is enough distinction for the word applies. It means that it happened in Germany, and plenty of attractive and high-quality things come out of Germany. Take a look at these samples and see for yourself.

The History Explains the Concept

Imagine making a material tougher and more useful just by whacking it with a hammer. This would sound ridiculous for most materials, but a metallurgist would quietly soak in the rest of the conversation, being quite used to the idea. This is just because metals cool into a granular structure that can be modified in many ways, and the way in which these grains form can vary wildly based on the rate of cooling. Metals can have their molecular structures altered without breaking anything even when cold.

This is usually done with a hammer. Modifying the molecular structure with heat and sudden cooling is called annealing and quenching, but the process of discussing is peening or work-hardening. This is not a new discovery and in fact is as old as metal. After those metals that melt at low temperature, ancient people eventually discovered how to melt and refine copper. Harder and more useful than gold, copper could be further hardened through hammering and made into tools on its own.

Shot peening is an industrial process and could be used to harden a rounded piece of metal that is based on copper, commonly called a brass. While brasses are less likely to be used as construction material, it could matter for reasons as simple as making a bronze chair and making sure the seat is strong enough not to crumple under a rear end. Work hardening can be done on cold steel, and the benefits might be as great as increasing fatigue resistance several times.

The Limits of Cast Metal

The granular structure of metal defines its limitations but also its potential. These grains are compressed and elongated whenever they undergo stress. Rolling is one example, and a common example is aluminum foil. Aluminum is normally inflexible after casting, but a dozen passes under a roller will turn a cast aluminum slab into very flexible and durable foil. Steel has grains after casting, and cast steel is prone to cracking without further work.

Most knives are put under some hammering process in order to make them harder and also less likely to break. The deformed crystals reduce the lines along which a piece of metal can break while also bracing against each other on a molecular level. The result is a much stronger piece of metal after being worked cold. Kugelstrahlen does something similar to metal using cast balls, and it has the potential to economically harden a metal sheet that has already been formed but needs additional work to be strong enough for its task.

Extra information about shot blasting material suppliers