Improvement in the fatigue strength of chromium electroplated AISI 4340 steel by shot peening
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In landing gear, an important mechanical component for high responsible applications, wear and corrosion control is currently accomplished by chrome plating or hard anodising. However, some problems are associated with these operations. Experimental results have also shown that chrome-plated specimens have fatigue strength lower than those of uncoated parts, attributed to high residual tensile stress and microcracks density contained into the coating. Under fatigue conditions these microcracks propagate and will cross the interface coating-substrate and penetrate base metal without impediment. Shot peening is a surface process used to improve fatigue strength of metal components due to compressive residual stresses induced in the surface layers of the material, making the nucleation and propagation of fatigue cracks difficult. This investigation is concerned with analysis of the shot peening influence on the rotating bending fatigue strength of hard chromium electroplated AISI 4340 steel. Specimens were submitted to shot peening treatment with steel and ceramic shots and, in both cases, experimental results show increase in the fatigue life of AISI 4340 steel hard chromium electroplated, up to level of base metal without chromium. Peening using ceramic shot resulted in lower scatter in rotating bending fatigue data than steel shots.