Laser shock peening (LSP) is an advanced surface treatment technique that can extend fatigue life in metallic components by inducing near-surface compressive residual stresses. In this study, LSP was implemented to induce compressive residual stresses and modify material properties of selective laser melted (SLM) aluminum A357 specimens. An initial hypothesis on the effect of LSP during tension testing was formulated and tested using finite element simulation. The hypothesis was that, due to the LSP-induced tensile residual stress field in the middle of the specimen cross sections, yielding was expected to initiate in this region. True stress-strain curves of two as-built (AB) and two laser shock peened samples were obtained through transverse tensile tests. The single explicit analysis using time dependent damping (SEATD) technique was used to simulate LSP process utilizing Johnson-Cook (J-C) constitutive parameters. J-C parameters for the cast A357 alloy were used for preliminary study. This was followed by the simulation of the transverse tensile test. J-C parameters for SLM A357 alloy were then empirically estimated, and simulations were repeated accordingly. It was found that the specific LSP pattern induced tensile residual stresses along the edges as well as the middle of the test specimen’s cross-section. Axial residual stress and yield strength profiles along three different paths on specimen’s cross-section were compared and yield regions were investigated. This supported the initial hypothesis, but also provided for a more detailed understanding of actual tensile test failure in the specific SLM A357 specimens for the given LSP treatment. In addition, the same LSP treatment on SLM A357 alloy resulted in lower magnitude of compressive residual stress than for cast A357 aluminum alloy.

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