Shot Peening on Metal Surface: The Basic Guide

What is shot peening

Shot peening is a process that uses high-speed sand shots and iron shots to hit the surface of the workpiece to improve part of the mechanical properties of the parts and surface state changes.

Shot peening can be used to improve the mechanical strength, wear resistance, fatigue resistance and corrosion resistance of parts.

It can also be used for surface matting, descaling and eliminating residual stresses in casting, forging and welding etc.

Shot blasting to remove old paint and rust on the surface of steel wheels

Types of shot peening

Shot peening is divided into shot peening and shot blasting.

Shot peening

Surface treatment with shot blasting has a great impact force and obvious cleaning effect.

However, the treatment of thin plate workpieces by shot peening can easily deform the workpiece, and the steel shot hits the surface of the workpiece (no matter shot blasting or shot peening) to deform the metal substrate.

Because Fe3O4 and Fe2O3 have no plasticity, they peel off after being broken.

The oil film is deformed together with the substrate, so the oil cannot be completely removed by shot blasting or air blasting for oil-contaminated workpieces.

Among the existing surface treatment methods for workpieces, the best cleaning effect is sandblasting.

Shot peening

Shot blasting

Shot blasting is suitable for cleaning the workpiece surface with higher requirements.

However, the current general sandblasting equipment in China is mostly composed of primitive and heavy sand conveying machinery such as hinge dragon, scraper, bucket and elevator etc.

Users need to construct a deep pit and make a waterproof layer to install the machinery, which has higher construction cost, larger maintenance workload and higher maintenance cost.

Moreover, a large amount of silica dust produced during the sandblasting process cannot be removed, which seriously affects the health of the operators and pollutes the environment.

Shot blasting

Shot peening is divided into general shot peening and stress shot peening.

In general processing, the steel plate is in a free state, and high-speed steel shot is used to strike the inside of the steel plate to generate pre-compression stress on the surface, which reduce the tensile stress on the surface of the steel plate during work, and increase the service life.

Stress shot peening is to pre-bend the steel plate under a certain force, and then perform shot peening.

Types of shot peening equipment

There are two main types of shot peening equipment:

1. Mechanical centrifugal shot penning machine

Suitable for parts that require high shot peening strength, small variety, large batch, simple shape and large size.

Mechanical centrifugal shot penning machine Mechanical centrifugal shot penning machine

2. Pneumatic shot blasting machine (compressed air type)

Suitable for parts that require moderate shot peening strength, complex shapes and small sizes.

Pneumatic shot blasting machine Pneumatic shot blasting machine

Introduction of the projectile

1. Cast steel shot

The hardness is generally 40~50HRC.

When processing hard metals, the hardness can be increased to 57~62HRC.

Cast steel shot has good toughness and is widely used, and its service life is several times that of cast-iron shot.

2. Cast iron shot

Its hardness is 58~65HRC, which is brittle and easy to break with a short lifespan, which is not widely used.

It is mainly used on occasions where the high intensity of shot peening is required.

Cast iron shot

3. Glass bead

The hardness is lower than the former two, which is mainly used for titanium, aluminum, magnesium and other materials that do not allow iron pollution.

It can also be used for the second processing after steel shot peening to remove iron pollution and reduce the surface roughness of parts.

4. Ceramic bead

The chemical composition of the ceramic bead is roughly 67% ZrO2, 31% SiO2 and 2% Al2O3 as the main inclusions, which are made by melting, atomizing, drying, rounding, and sieving.

The hardness is equivalent to HRC57~ 63.

Its outstanding performance is higher density and higher hardness than glass.

It was first used to strengthen aircraft parts in the early 1980s.

Ceramic beads have higher strength, longer life than glass beads with lower prices.

They have now been extended to the surface strengthening of non-ferrous metals such as titanium alloys and aluminum alloys.

Ceramic bead

Introduction to the nozzles of blasting machines

1. Straight barrel nozzle    

Straight barrel nozzle has a simple structure, its internal structure only has two parts: contraction and flat section.

2. Venturi nozzle      

The venturi nozzle is divided into three parts: the contracting section, straight section and diffusion section, which is more difficult to make.

3. Double venturi nozzle    

Double venturi nozzles have a front and back, with a spacing between the two, and several small holes around the spacing.

4. Square hole nozzle      

A nozzle with square inlet and outlet ends has been developed abroad.

Various tests show that this nozzle is more efficient and more economical than the venturi nozzle.

Parameters affecting shot peening quality

Shot peening intensity

The process parameters that affect the strength of shot peening mainly include: projectile diameter, projectile velocity, projectile flow rate and projectile time etc.

Coverage rate

Influencing factors of coverage rate: hardness of parts material, projectile diameter, spray angle and distance and projectile time etc.

Surface roughness

Influencing factors of roughness: the strength and hardness of the part material, the diameter of the projectile, the spray angle and speed, and the original surface roughness of the part.

Characteristics of parts after shot peening

The size of the residual compressive stress on the sprayed surface of the part and the depth of the compressive stress layer depends on the properties of the sprayed material and the peening strength.

The higher the strength and hardness of the material, the greater the compressive stress and the shallower the depth of the compressive stress layer.

The higher the shot peening strength, the greater the depth of the compressive stress layer.

Changes in the material organization of the blasted surface layer

The roughness of the blasted surface: The roughness of the blasted surface becomes worse with the increase of shot peening strength, the decrease of surface hardness and the decrease of shot size.

Size increase: The metal on the sprayed surface is extruded to form tiny metal wave crests, so the size increases.

Application range of shot peening

Shot peening can prevent bending fatigue of automobile parts;

Shot peening can improve the bending fatigue properties of the tooth profile root;

Shot peening can improve the fatigue resistance and safe service lifespan of the crankshaft;

Shot peening can increase the strength and rigidity of the connecting rod;

Application range of shot peening

The powerful shot peening process can improve the bending fatigue strength and contact fatigue strength of gear teeth, which is an important way to improve gear anti-seizure ability and increase gear life;

Surface shot peening is an effective surface strengthening process to improve the stress corrosion resistance and hydrogen embrittlement fracture of fasteners.

After shot peening, the reliability and durability of the workpiece can be significantly improved.

Surface shot peening achieves the purpose of improving fatigue performance (including stress corrosion performance) by changing the structure of the material, which can improve the quality of fasteners.

Surface shot peening

2 thoughts on “Shot Peening on Metal Surface: The Basic Guide”

  1. Good morning Shane, I am an enthusiastic maker of ” specials “in the field of motorcycle engineering, I build both modified and new engines for road and classic competition events. I have a basic understanding of the benefits shot peening in the improvement of fatigue resistance in highly stressed components such as connecting rods, crankshafts, gears etcetera. the materials I use (sorry for using some old reference numbers)predominantly are EN16,EN24,EN26 in the T condition.EN36 & 39 mostly for case hardening. EN4OB niterided.for crankshafts. aluminium, HE30 & 7075/T6. I would be interested in your comments on the potential benefits for shot peening of these materials .component quantitys would be small 4-6 parts at a time. regards, Matthew Barton.

    1. We are sorry that we have not conducted any research on this aspect. If we publish relevant articles one day in the future, we will definitely notify you, please stay tuned.

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