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Seminar - 05292013


The Use of Laser Peening for Life Extension in Nuclear Power Plants

May 29, 2013
ME Auditorium
1100 & 1200

Dr. Lloyd Hackel

Vice President, Advanced Technologies, MIC
Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies' Metal Improvement Company


Mr. Paul Crooker

Senior Engineer & Manager, Nuclear Plant Life Extension
Electric Power Research Institute


Laser peening technology has emerged as an important contributor to high performance metals applications contributing to the energy efficiency of operational systems. For electrical generation gas and steam turbines it is being used to minimize water droplet erosion thereby supporting operation at as much as 15% improved efficiency. The technology is also being used to generate aerodynamic and structural shape in aircraft and aerospace components; specifically the new Boeing 747-8 has a more aerodynamic wing shape enabled by laser peening and now represents the world’s most fuel efficient aircraft per passenger mile flown. The technology is transportable with robotic processing that has enabled field deployment such as the on-going maintenance depot work mitigating fatigue cracking of F-22 fighters. The process is FAA qualified in commercial applications: such as the Boeing 777, the Airbus A340, Gulfstream V and VI, and other military aircraft such as the T-45 Navy trainer. In the talk we will discuss the basics of laser peening and development and successful deployment of the peening systems and advanced beam delivery technology that enables field application on large structures such as but not limited to aircraft, ships, pressure vessels, and nuclear power plants. We will show examples of the deep levels of residual stress imparted to aluminum alloys, test results showing fatigue life enhancement and results showing impressive forming capability with alloys in final temper. We will discuss application to next-generation aircraft involving forming of integrally stiffened wing and fuselage panels as well as laser peening’s ability to greatly extend the fatigue life of friction stir welds. A recent application involves reducing the cavitation erosion in nickel-aluminum-bronze a basic material for ship propellers and rudders, reducing costly overhauls and improving operational efficiency. Laser peening has had a major impact in the commercial world reducing long term costs for replacement parts, reducing down time and improving system efficiency. Its economic impact is just beginning in the military world.


Dr. Lloyd Hackel Biography

Dr. Lloyd Hackel is currently Vice President for Advanced Technologies for Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies’ Metal Improvement Company. This appointment followed a 28 year career at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he rose to the position of Program Leader for Laser Science and Technology. Dr. Hackel received a BS degree in Applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1971 and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology an MS degree in 1973 and a Doctorate degree in 1974 in Applied Physics. He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of engineering and laser physics working extensively on problems in high resolution spectroscopy, laser frequency stabilization, atomic vapor isotope separation, high power lasers for strategic and tactical military defense and in high power lasers for fusion and x-ray laser generation for proximity print photolithography. He was a major developer of a rapid thermal processing system used in the manufacturing of large panel liquid crystal displays. Lloyd was the project leader and co-inventor of the laser system that is now widely used in the successful commercial deployment of laser peening technology. He has numerous journal publications and is the winner of six R&D 100 awards for outstanding technology development. He has also been awarded three Federal Laboratory Consortium Awards for excellence in technology transfer to industry by the US Department of Energy. Dr. Hackel is a recognized expert in the application of high power lasers to generate compressive stress to improve the fatigue and corrosion lifetime of components and systems. Lloyd and his wife Linda live in Livermore CA and have three daughters and three grandchildren.

Mr. Paul Crooker Biography

Paul Crooker is a Senior Project Manager in EPRI's Pressurized Water Reactor Materials Reliability (MRP) and Technology Innovation (TI) Programs. Paul has managed individual materials programs and technical committees whose research includes; laser and water jet peening, welding residual stresses, optimizing inspection intervals, bottom-mounted instrumentation nozzles, irradiated materials properties testing, full-scale control rod drive mechanism (CRDM) and bottom-mounted nozzle (BMN) mockup boric acid corrosion testing, optimized weld overlays, chemical mitigation, off-normal water chemistry stainless steel degradation studies, and corrosion resistant replacement materials.

Paul also manages the Polaris Initiative in EPRI's Technology Innovation Program. Polaris focuses on discovering and exploring technologies that could have broad application and high value for the electric power industry, but are too early stage to be included in of one of EPRI Sector's R&D programs.

Prior to joining EPRI, Paul worked at Sandia National Laboratories and at Foster Wheeler Corporation. There he worked in technology development and project management of advanced coal combustion and gasification energy systems, emission controls, digital control systems, high pressure thermal processes, explosive destruction and supercritical water oxidation chemical weapon demilitarization, hydrogen storage and renewable transportation fuels, nuclear materials and transportation packaging, and defense systems. Paul is a Professional Engineer and Mechanical Engineering graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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