ICALEO 2005 Paper #1206 (Cost Effective Laser Shock Processing Development at GE Aircraft Engines)
Todd Rockstroh, GE Transportation; Evendale OH USA
Presented at ICALEO 2005
GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) has worked with various vendors since 1992 to develop laser shock processing. GEAE launched production on the stage one fan blades for the F101 / B1 Bomber and F110/F16 Falcon engines in 1996 and has, with the US Air Force, nearly completely retrofitted the USAF fleet. Intial applications were driven by critical performance and flight safety issues. The laser equipment was expensive to procure and maintain and required a highly skilled maintenance staff for daily setup and process maintenance. GEAE launched a three year program to investigate alternative laser technologies in order to robust the equipment and enable the use of commercially available laser technologies. The result is the fourth generation laser system. The fourth generation laser system has enabled GEAE to apply LSP to smaller, inexpensive aircraft engine components such as compressor airfoils. With minimal added cost, GEAE is able to apply LSP to compressor airfoils and double the permissible damage allowable before an engine requires repair. This paper will discuss the development of the fourth generation laser and the application to thin compressor airfoils along with other opportunities for cost effective laser shock processing.