The ultrasonic impact treatment (UIT) is relatively new and promising process for fatigue life improvement of welded elements and structures. In most industrial applications this process is known as ultrasonic peening (UP). The beneficial effect of UIT/UP is achieved mainly by relieving of harmful tensile residual stresses and introducing of compressive residual stresses into surface layers of a material, decreasing of stress concentration in weld toe zones and enhancement of mechanical properties of the surface layers of the material. The UP technique is based on the combined effect of high frequency impacts of special strikers and ultrasonic oscillations in treated material. Fatigue testing of welded specimens showed that UP is the most efficient improvement treatment as compared with traditional techniques such as grinding, TIG-dressing, heat treatment, hammer peening and application of LTT electrodes. The developed computerized complex for UP was successfully applied for increasing the fatigue life and corrosion resistance of welded elements, elimination of distortions caused by welding and other technological processes, residual stress relieving, increasing of the hardness of the surface of materials. The UP could be effectively applied for fatigue life improvement during manufacturing, rehabilitation and repair of welded elements and structures. The areas/industries where the UP process was applied successfully include: Shipbuilding, Railway and Highway Bridges, Construction Equipment, Mining, Automotive, Aerospace. The results of fatigue testing of welded elements in as-welded condition and after application of UP are considered in this paper. It is shown that UP is the most effective and economic technique for increasing of fatigue strength of welded elements in materials of different strength. These results also show a strong tendency of increasing of fatigue strength of welded elements after application of UP with the increase in mechanical properties of the material used.

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