Aerospace shot peening service

Shot peening, peen-forming and blast cleaning services from Impact Finishers, with NADCAP accreditation

With the need today to produce lighter, more fuel efficient aircraft, designers are employing lighter and stronger alloys. Shot peening has been identified as playing a significant role in increasing the fatigue life of highly stressed critical airframe components, allowing the further reduction of weight by using parts designed with less mass but the same, if not enhanced, fatigue properties.

Components processed in the aerospace sector at Wheelabrator Impact range from very large wing ribs, spars, wing skins and undercarriage components such as gear ribs, linkages, hydraulic cylinders and bolts, as well as landing gear wheels, down to a very small spring or fixing. In addition, aero engine compressor blades, fan blades, drums, spinners and supporting components are fully catered for.

With ever increasing aircraft build rates and demands on lead times, Wheelabrator Impact is focused on how quickly our customers demand their components to be turned round. Wheelabrator Impact offers a fast ‘standard’ lead time and also an envied AOG service for those regular unforeseen emergencies that occur often in the aerospace industry.


There are three main elements to the aerospace shot peening processes carried out at Wheelabrator Impact

1. Saturation fatigue enhancement peening
2. Correction peening
3. Peen Forming

The relevance of peen forming and correction in aerospace

All aspects of the disciplines of peen forming and correction tasks are carried out at Wheelabrator Impact. The forming of complex structural aerospace components by pressing or rolling, whilst effective, can introduce harmful tensile stresses that can result in the initiation and propagation of cracks. An alternative and more commonly used method of shaping or flattening aero structures or skins is to utilise the shot peen process to straighten or shape a component. Since it is possible to form components through shot peening, the process can therefore be used to correct or flatten distorted parts without inducing undesirable tensile stresses. This results in a component of the correct form but with inherent compressive stresses present, thus also introducing the benefit of fatigue enhancing properties.

Turbine Components

Wheelabrator Impact shot peens many turbine engine components. Components which often require the shot peen process include: spinners, drums, shafts, blades and stators.

Due to the delicacy and thin section of turbine blades, glass bead or ceramic bead peening is often used to reduce the risk of distorting these critical areas. However, the root of the blade is more substantial and more highly stressed allowing higher intensities to be imparted. In this case the higher intensities are usually achieved with the use of a heavier steel shot as is also often the case with other more substantial turbine components.

The range of machines available at Wheelabrator Impact to process the many complex turbine components requiring the shot peening process is extensive, ensuring capabilities and capacity are matched to customers’ requirements.

Spinners, blades and shafts often require complex masking and tooling which is regularly designed and manufactured by Wheelabrator Impact.

Aerospace, marine and land based turbine engine component treatments are all part of the Wheelabrator Impact portfolio.


Surface preparation for coating treatments

Surface preparation for coating treatments is another process carried out at Wheelabrator Impact for its aerospace customers. Wheelabrator Impact provides controlled aluminium oxide and shot peening surface preparation for all wet treatments, chrome and anodize coatings.


Plastic media paint removal: a non intrusive process

Cleaning with BIP plastic media is a fast, environmentally acceptable and cost effective alternative to traditional.

Chemical and hand stripping. Unlike chemical strippers, plastic media is biodegradable, non-toxic, non-polluting and the process is now accepted as the optimum method of coating removal for a wide variety of materials and components.

Plastic Media is used in the stripping and maintenance of airframe structures and components. In other words, it does not generate a surface profile as with common blasting processes; the substrate is completely undamaged, and even soft alloys, such as aluminium, are unaffected.

Wheelabrator Impact carries out this process on many delicate substrates both in aerospace, where it is an approved method of coating removal, and in other sectors where the integrity of the surface is paramount.