Cavitation Peening of Hydraulic Tubes for Fatigue Improvement

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-09-C-0484
Agency Tracking Number: N092-120-0286
Amount: $149,917.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N092-120
Solicitation Number: 2009.2
Small Business Information
Ormond, LLC
4718 B Street NW Suite 104, Auburn, WA, 98001
DUNS: 030321009
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tom Butler
 (253) 852-1298
Business Contact
 Tom Butler
Title: Co-Founder
Phone: (253) 852-1298
Research Institution
In order to reduce weight and improve performance, many new aircraft designs are using titanium hydraulic tubing because of it’s high strength to weight ratio and high pressure rating. Higher hydraulic pressures enable the use of small and lighter actuators, allowing further reductions in weight. A modern performance rotorcraft, such as the V-22 or the new CH-53K, can have as many as 500 hydraulic tubes, so low weight tubing becomes a critical requirement. However, the titanium hydraulic tubing has proved to be sensitive to very small surface flaws in lab tests. Scratches as shallow as 0.004” have been shown to cause failure in less than 50,000 cycles in the lab – or as little as 40 flight hours! The cavitation peening technology proposed in this project would make the tubing more robust and forgiving of flaws by inducing residual compressive stresses that are deeper than the anticipated flaws. Preliminary tests have demonstrated the process can dramatically increase notched fatigue life by more than 20 times at a projected cost of less than $50 per tube. The proposed project will build on the initial testing to demonstrate feasibility to the Primes and other stakeholders.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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