This paper describes an experimental study on the emission of nanometric size particles during laser shock processing of metallic materials: stainless steel, aluminum and titanium alloys which are the most common ones processed by this technique. The emission of nanometric size particles was confirmed to consist of aggregates composed of smaller spherical particles in the range of 10-20 nm, covered by a small concentric "layer" probably of metal oxides. The analysis of the nanoparticles showed the presence of the main elements present in the tested alloys as well as high oxygen content, which is another indication of the presence of oxides of Fe, Al and Ti. The amount of emitted nanoparticles, showed considerable increases over the baseline measured for the working envi-ronment, and these increases correspond to the more intense pulses of the laser beam. The material density was seen to highly affect the quantity of emitted nanoparticles. During LSP of aluminium alloy (the lighter material) a large quantity of nanoparticles was measured, while in LSP of stainless steel few nanoparticles were observed, and this is the denser material, among the three tested. Titanium alloy results in intermediate values. The study of these emissions is innovative and relevant for industrial environments where the manufacturing process is in use.
- Laser shock peening