Compressive residual stresses that improve fatigue strength of material are obtained by peening the surface. Unlike traditional processes, a novel process of oil cavitation jet peening was developed. The process is based on implosion generated by the oil cavitation jet that plastically deforms the surface, imparting compressive residual stresses. The process developed involves injection of a high-speed oil jet (230m/s) through a suitably designed nozzle, into an oil-filled chamber containing the specimen to be peened. The region of cavitation generation, growth, and collapse, at the various cavitation numbers, was recorded using high-speed photography. To optimize the process parameters, a simple erosion test was performed in aluminum alloy, AA 6063-T6, specimens. The impact pressure generated during the implosion of cavitation bubbles causes plastic deformation and erosion of the surface. The surface deformation and cavitation jet erosion in the exposed specimens were characterized using optical and scanning electron microscopies. The standoff distance, which measures jet impact zone of the specimen from nozzle, was optimized at 15 mm in a cavitation number (which is a measure of pressure ratio across the nozzle) of 0.0017. The surface deformation produced by collapse of the oil bubble was similar to impact of oil droplet on the surface. The material removal mechanism during implosion of the bubble is predominately by ductile shear deformation.

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