Shot peening is a widely applied surface treatment in a number of manufacturing processes in several industries including automotive, mechanical and aeronautical. This surface treatment is used with the aim of increasing surface toughness and extending fatigue life. The increased performance during fatigue testing of the peened components is mainly the result of the sub-surface compressive residual stress field resulting from the plastic deformation of the surface layers of the target material, caused by the high-velocity impact of the shot. This compressive residual stress field hinders the propagation and coalescence of cracks during the second stage of fatigue testing, effectively increasing the fatigue life well beyond the expected life of a non-peened component.
This paper describes a 3D computational model of spherical projectiles impacting simultaneously upon a flat surface. The multi-impact model was developed in ABAQUS/Explicit using finite element method (FEM) and taking into account controlling parameters such as the velocity of the projectiles, their incidence angle and different impact locations in the target surface. Additionally, a parametric study of the physical properties of the target material was carried out in order to assess the effect of temperature on the residual stress field.
The simulation has been able to successfully represent a multi-impact processing scenario, showing the indentation caused by each individual shot, as well as the residual stress field for each impact and the interaction between each one of them. It has been found that there is a beneficial effect on the residual stress field magnitude when shot peening is carried out at a relatively high temperature. The results are discussed in terms of the current shot-peening practice in the local industry and the leading edge developments of new peening technologies. Finally, an improved and affordable processing route to increase the fatigue life of automotive components is suggested.