Characterisation of foreign object damage (FOD) and early fatigue crack growth in laser shock peened Ti–6Al–4V aerofoil specimens

Sven Spanrad, Jie Tong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Foreign object damage (FOD) has been identified as one of the primary life limiting factors for fan and compressor blades, with the leading edge of aerofoils particularly susceptible to such damage. In this study, a generic aerofoil specimen of Ti–6Al–4V alloy was used. The specimens were treated by laser shock peening (LSP) to generate compressive residual stresses in the leading edge region prior to impact. FOD was simulated by firing a cubical projectile at the leading edge using a laboratory gas gun at 200 m/s, head-on; and at 250 m/s, at an angle of 45°. The specimens were then subjected to 4-point bend fatigue testing under high cycle (HCF), low cycle (LCF) and combined LCF and HCF loading conditions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterise the damage features due to FOD. Crack initiation and early crack growth due to FOD and subsequent fatigue growth were examined in detail. The results were compared between the two impact conditions; and with those from samples without LSP treatment as well as those impacted with spherical projectiles. The results seem to suggest that LSP has improved the crack growth resistance post FOD. Delayed onset of crack initiation was observed in LSPed samples compared to those without LSP under similar loading conditions. Damage features depend on the geometry of the projectile, the impact angle as well as the impact velocity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2128-2136
    Number of pages9
    JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
    Issue number4-5
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2011


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