Vibration-assisted ball burnishing: A solution for Surface enhancement through acoustoplasticity

Summary of the technology

An innovative system to modify the surface integrity, i.e. surface texture and roughness, hardness and residual stress, of previously milled workpieces has been developed. The system can be easily integrated in real manufacturing environments, but should be tested with that aim. Partners to further develop the system and/or to establish commercial agreements along with technical cooperation are sought.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Challenge

The manufacturing industry demands effective finishing processes to which workpieces could be subjected to enhance their future in-service performance. This need is especially required for innovative materials, as they usually show a detrimental surface integrity state due to their low machinability. In the transportation industry, the manufacturing of components such as turbine blades, requires the application of local processes that could reinforce critical areas of the workpiece that are subjected to demanding regimes, such as fatigue. Improving the surface and near-surface texture, roughness, residual stress and hardness is a mean to prevent crack growth and enhance the behavior of these components. In this context, the vibration-assisted ball burnishing tool has proved positive results in laboratory applications, and is ready for a leap forward into the industry.

The Technology

The system consists of a ball burnishing tool with a force regulation system based on a calibrated spring compression. It is equipped with a stacked piezoelectric module that, linked to the burnishing ball support, transmits a 40 kHz ultrasonic vibratory movement to the ball as it rolls over the target surface. The piezoelectric is excited through an external power circuit detached from the manufacturing environment. The oscillatory force allows to take advantage of the acoustoplastic effect, that is, the instantaneous decrease of the stress required to cause plastic strain while leaving residual hardening on the material. The tool is prepared to be mounted on a milling machine through.

Innovative Advantages

  • Competitive effects compared to those obtained through conventional finishing process such as polishing, or shot peening
  • Easiness of automatization and implementation in workshops
  • As the process is chipless, no residual substances or materials are generated
  • Inexpensive system with low maintenance costs

Current development status

Working prototypes: The prototype has been tested on ball-end milled AISI 1038, Ti6Al4V and Al 2017 surfaces, proving its beneficial effects in terms of texture, roughness, hardness, and residual stress.

Desired business relationship

Other: Technology available for licensing with technical cooperation

Intellectual property status

Patent already applied for: Priority application - PCT

Applications and Target Market

The preferential market for this system is related to manufacturing centers in the transportation industry, as they work on pieces that are obtained by milling operations and require the application of finishing operations to enhance their surface finish state. The finishing of manufacturing equipment, such as molds or dies, is also a target area of the technology. In fact, it can be adapted to any application that could eventually require of local hardening effects, which can be easily delivered through the technique.

Related Keywords

  • Applications for Transport and Logistics
  • Industrial manufacturing, Material and Transport Technologies
  • Industrial Manufacture
  • Machine Tools
  • Machining (turning, drilling, moulding, milling, planning, cutting)
  • Machining, fine (grinding, lapping)
  • Surface treatment (painting, galvano, polishing, CVD, PVD)
  • Moulding, injection moulding, sintering
  • Construction Technology
  • Materials, components and systems for construction
  • Materials Technology
  • Materials Handling Technology (solids, fluids, gases)
  • Properties of Materials, Corrosion/Degradation
  • Transport and Shipping Technologies
  • Engineering
  • Industrial Technologies
  • Vibration and Acoustic engineering
  • Manufacturing/industrial
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • acoustoplasticity
  • ball burnishing

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research in the fields of engineering, architecture and science, which contributes its knowledge and expertise in order to increase scientific output, transfer its results to society and provide a network of scientific and technical state-of-the-art facilities and technology valorization services that place us at the leading edge of innovation and economic development.

The UPC has established itself as a driver of innovation and is the technology partner of choice for companies and organizations with which it develops projects and builds partnerships. A role borne out by the numerous agreements and research projects that have been set in motion by groups, organizations and laboratories; the creation of new technology-based companies; the generation and exploitation of patents, and the scientific and technical services UPC makes available to its environment in order to generate progress and employment.

The Technology Transfer Office (SGI) is responsible of Designing, coordinating and implementing research valorisation strategies, carrying out the protection policy of the research results, marketing these results through license contracts and designing and setting up the University's enterprise creation model in order to transfer the results of the research to the market, protect and commercialize these results, promote the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and create technology-based companies within the UPC environment.

Servei de Gestió de la Innovació

Never miss an update from Servei de Gestió de la Innovació

Create your free account to connect with Servei de Gestió de la Innovació and thousands of other innovative organizations and professionals worldwide


Send a request for information
to Servei

About Technology Offers

Technology Offers on Innoget are directly posted
and managed by its members as well as evaluation of requests for information. Innoget is the trusted open innovation and science network aimed at directly connect industry needs with professionals online.


Need help requesting additional information or have questions regarding this Technology Offer?
Contact Innoget support