Improvement of the surface layer strength via shot peening

© Felizitas Gemetz / Fraunhofer IWM

Shot peening is a widely used surface treatment to improve the static and cyclic strength of metal components based on the mechanical strengthening of surface layers and the incorporation of more advantageous compressive residual stresses. In close cooperation with industrial partners, we determine the optimum shot peening parameters in feasibility studies and measure depth-dependent residual stress profiles in our stress measuring laboratories. We also determine the hardness, fracture toughness and static as well as cyclic load bearing capacity of the surface layer. We analyze surface properties such as coverage ratio, roughness and micro-cracking with further technical measurement methods. Fundamental investigations regarding the forming of components by means of shot peening and shot blasting are also integral elements of our area of ​​expertise.

What we offer

  • Implementation of feasibility studies
  • Determination of optimal shot peening parameters
  • Measurement of residual stresses
  • Determination of surface layer properties including hardness, dislocation densities, fracture toughness
  • Determination of applied strength characteristics including static and cyclical load bearing capacity
  • Low volume production treatments
  • Experiments concerning shot peen forming

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© Fraunhofer IWM
Residual stress in ceramic and hard metal after shot blasting
© Fraunhofer IWM
Inhibited crack formation in ceramic and hard chrome after shot peening
© Fraunhofer IWM
Left: Compensation of defects in ceramic bearing rollers through shot blasting Right: Increasing the service life of carbide drills through shot peening


  • Pfeiffer, W.; Wenzel, J.; Shot peening of brittle materials – status and outlook; Material Science Forum 638-642 (2010) 799-804 Link
  • Pfeiffer, W.; Gumbsch, P.; Strengthening of silicon nitride ceramics by shot peening; International journal of materials research 97/12 (2006) 1673-1678 Link
  • Pfeiffer, W.; Koplin, C.; Reisacher, E.; Wenzel, J.; Residual stresses and strength of hard chromium coatings; Materials Science Forum 681 (2011) 133-138; Link
  • Pfeiffer, W.; Höpfel, H., Peen forming of ceramics - a new chipless shaping technique, Developments in Strategic Materials and Computational Design V: A Collection of Papers Presented at the 38th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites 2014, Ceramic engineering and science proceedings 35/8; Kriven, W.M.; Zhu, d.; Moon, K.I.; Hwang, T.; Wang, J.; Lewinsohn C.; Zhou, Y. (Eds.); John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA (2015) 229-236 Link

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