Many high performance and permanent service parts require suitable material characteristics-high fatigue strength is one of the most important characteristics. For this reason, surface treatment processes are essential to increase the material performance and avoid the use of costly ineffective material. There exist various surface treatment processes for various applications. Each process has advantages and disadvantages and hybridization can solve various problems. The micro-forging process delivers a controlled and uniform surface hardness, but the depth of the forged surface is limited. On the other hand, laser heat treatment can increase the hardness drastically, but the surface may become brittle, which reduces the fatigue life. Laser-assisted micro-forging is a novel hybrid process of laser heat treatment and micro-forging that has the potential to increase the forging depth and relax the stress caused by the high temperature of the forging process.
This study examines the effect of laser preheating in the micro-forging of AISI 4140. The processes were varied as follows: no treatment, micro-forging only, and laser-assisted micro-forging. The fatigue strength of the specimens was examined by means of an ultrasonic fatigue tester and then compared. The microstructural changes were investigated with respect to the processes by using scanning electron microscopy. In conclusion, it was confirmed that the laser preheating auxiliary forging affects the fatigue life. It was confirmed that the fatigue life was the mostly increased in 550°C temperature laser preheating micro forging process and the temperature was identified as the most important factor.
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