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Low Plasticity Burnishing (LPB)

Last updated: December 28, 2017

What Does Low Plasticity Burnishing (LPB) Mean?

Low plasticity burnishing (LPB) is a patented, proven surface treatment method of metals used to improve:

  • Damage tolerance
  • High-cycle fatigue (HCF)
  • Stress corrosion cracking (SCC)

This technique was first used in applications in 1996 by Lambda Technologies and has been in commercial production since 2004.

It is a practical, cost-effective, process that provides reliable performance improvement without altering either the material or design.

Low plasticity burnishing has been applied to a broad range of materials, including different types of alloys. The LPB application process can be easily integrated into production of parts in industries such as:

  • Aerospace
  • Military
  • Medical
  • Power generation
  • Oil

Corrosionpedia Explains Low Plasticity Burnishing (LPB)

Low plasticity burnishing smooths surface asperities during machining, leaving an improved, almost mirror-like surface finish that is vastly better looking and better protected than even a newly manufactured component.

The LPB process differs from conventional surface treatment methods by imparting the minimal amount of plastic deformation (or "cold working") needed to create the necessary level of residual stress to improve damage tolerance and fatigue or stress corrosion performance.

Benefits of LPB include:

  • Cost effective
  • Easy to perform
  • No surface damage
  • Minimal cold work
  • Use in arbitrary shapes and directions
  • No surface coatings required
  • Achieve greater depth and magnitude of compression

LPB metal treatment necessary to:

  • Improve performance
  • Reduce metal fatigue
  • Prevent stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
  • Prevent corrosion fatigue failures

It was originally utilized to treat turbine blades on aircraft engines. This process imparts residual compressive stresses to the surfaces of metal parts, thus dramatically enhancing the fatigue strength. Parts treated with LPB have a polished appearance, which reduces the incidence of fretting and surface defects that can lead to crack initiation.

LPB is the only metal improvement method applied under continuous closed-loop process control and has been successfully applied to:

  • Turbine engines
  • Piston engines
  • Propellers
  • Aging aircraft structures
  • Landing gear
  • Nuclear waste material containers
  • Biomedical implants
  • Welded joints

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