Livermore, CA, Oct. 18 -- Metal Improvement Company (MIC) announced today that Siemens Power Generation has begun utilizing MIC's laser peening technology to improve the fatigue strength of titanium last row blades on certain of their advanced steam turbines. The last row blades extract energy from the steam to drive electrical generators. Although the laser peening technology has been utilized for several years to strengthen critical titanium components in commercial and military turbine engines, this application represents its first production use in power generation steam turbines.
The MIC laser peening technology is based on a Neodymium glass laser technology, which was originally developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The laser beam, with a peak power output of 1,000 Megawatts, is pulsed and directed at the surface of metal parts to be treated. Pressure waves of one million pounds per square inch are generated at the surface and compress the metal to leave behind a protective residual compressive stress layer beneath the surface. This compressive stress acts to increase the component's resistance to failure mechanisms such as fatigue, fretting fatigue and stress corrosion cracking, which in turn translates into increased component life and reduced maintenance costs.
MIC operates laser peening production facilities in Livermore, CA to service the North American market and Earby, UK to service the European market. Laser peening continues to gain momentum as a premier metal surface treatment for highly stressed components made of steel, titanium, aluminium and other metals where extended life or improved reliability is important. MIC also operates mobile laser peening systems with the capability to be transferred and set up anywhere in the world to bring the benefits of laser peening technology to new applications.
The Power Generation Group (PG) of Siemens AG is one of the premier companies in the international power generation sector. In fiscal 2006 Siemens PG had sales of more than EUR 10 billion and a work force of approximately 36,400 worldwide. For more information about the Power Generation Group of Siemens AG visit www.powergeneration.siemens.com
Metal Improvement Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, provides precision metal treatment services that include shot and laser peening, peen forming, heat treating and coating services. The company operates 61 metal treatment facilities in North America and Europe. For more information about the Metal Improvement Company visit www.metalimprovement.com
Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW), headquartered in Roseland, NJ, is a diversified company that designs, manufactures and overhauls products for motion control and flow control applications in addition to providing metal treatment services. For more information about Curtiss-Wright visit www.curtisswright.com