Advanced Balancing Using Laser Machining

Walton, J.F., Cronin, M., and Mehta, R., “Advanced Balancing Using Laser Machining,” Presented at 1991 SAE Aerotech Exposition and Congress, September 23-26, 1991, Long Beach, CA, Paper No. 912218.

A laser-balancing system is described, and materials machined with the system are examined by means of fatigue testing and comparisons with as-machined components. An Nd:YAG laser is used in the automated system to machine rotating components, and the components are examined to study the effects of the laser material-removal process. Materials from turbine engines are handground, machined, or laser-machined, and fatigue testing is used in conjunction with SEM to study the effects on material fatigue life. Laser machining is shown to degrade the fatigue life more than handgrinding, but the material-removal process does not reduce the life of a tested shaft component. It is suggested that fatigue tests of transverse laser machining be conducted to assess possible techniques for refining the laser removal process.

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