An effective method for improving the fatigue life of Duralumin plates with fastener holes, such as those used in the construction of aircraft, is to introduce a compressive residual stress around the fastener holes. Cavitation peening is a novel peening method that uses the cavitation impact produced when a high-speed water jet is injected into a water-filled chamber. In this paper, Duralumin plate specimens with holes were treated by cavitation peening under various conditions, and the fatigue strength of the specimens was determined using a plate bending fatigue test. It was revealed that a compressive residual stress was introduced not only on surfaces perpendicular to the axis of the cavitating jet but also on the walls of holes which were parallel to this. It was found that a 51% improvement in fatigue strength could be achieved by cavitation peening. Note that this is first report demonstrating an improvement in the fatigue life of Duralumin plates with fastener holes by cavitation peening.
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