Additive manufactured AM metals are attractive materials, as shape is directly formed from digital design data with unparalleled geometric freedom, less manufacturing leading time and little or no tooling. However, a significant reduction of fatigue properties compared to conventionally built wrought products has been a limiting factor. To improve fatigue life and strength, a novel mechanical surface treatment using water cavitation and abrasive impact is currently undergoing development. The powerful abrasive blasting process produces a smooth surface that has shown significant fatigue improvement as a result of the sub-surface compressive residual stress imparted by the forceful peening effect.
Boeing Senior Technical Fellow (retired), Affiliate Professor Mechanical Engineering,University of Washington