The Role of Wheelblast in Shot Peening – Part I

Author:  Kumar Balan | Empire Abrasive Equipment Co.
Source:  The Shot Peener magazine, Vol 31, Issue 2, Spring 2017
Doc ID:  2017014
Year of Publication:  2017
The introductory class at the EI Shot Peening Workshop covers the history of shot peening. The instructor explains that engine valve springs were blast cleaned in a tumble-type wheelblast machine (commonly known as the tumblast) to remove paint. As an unintended consequence of cleaning, the springs also received the fatigue strength benefits of shot peening, prompting further measurement and validation of the process. Therefore, apart from the blacksmith who inadvertently shot peened buggy springs manually with his hammer, the first known shot peening practice was in a wheelblast machine! However, when visualizing shot peening equipment today, the image of a blast nozzle held by a robot or an articulating arm processing an aerospace component is more common than multiple blast wheels shot peening connecting rods.

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