VOL. 18 November ISSUE YEAR 2017

MFN Trainer Column

in Vol. 18 - November Issue - Year 2017
Inspired By The Subject Surface
Sirko Fricke

Sirko Fricke

It always amazes me to observe or meet people who discover their enthusiasm for the allegedly banal topic on the surface. Here, of course, with focus on metallic surfaces. However, regardless of whether they are turned, milled, coated, shot-blasted, roller burnished or deep rolled surfaces, the majority of people who are concerned with the edge zone and the surface and pursue the question of what happens there, all of them are excited to give new impulses to this old and seemingly banal subject. There is always the drive to raise new questions, to go deeper into details, and to find new solutions.
It does not matter whether it comes from finding a new coating, to consider dislocations in depth, to simulate shot peening, or develop a new deep rolling tool and test it for the first time. The people in this subject area are enthusiastic when it comes to deduce another secret from this broad subject area. And I find that fascinating, since I am also connected with this topic.
For me, it all started with my first position after graduation as a project engineer, for research and development projects. "That sounds great!" I thought. "And what do I have to do now?" First, read and learn! The topic of mechanical surface treatments, as I have learned, is deeper and farther than it seems on the surface. This was followed by first business trips, getting to know professionals, networking, holding first lectures, and systematically becoming a professional without paying attention to or even noticing it. Sure, even today nobody knows everything in this area, therefore it is simply too big. But you know with time, who is better in what aspects, and you learn who can ask for something. The abundance of people I have known since July 2008 is already impressive. And almost everyone of them is enthusiastic about compressive residual stresses, life-time enhancements, and new possibilities through new technologies or prototypes. It is a sometimes loose and sometimes solid network that deals with this topic around the world.
There are scientists and companies that develop more accurate or new measurement methods. The common measurements by X-ray diffraction or the hole-drilling method is not enough for them. There are users who are new to this subject and who want to first understand what possibilities are available, for example deep rolling. They are astonished when they find out that, besides turning and grinding, other methods can be used that can improve the product and save time and money. There are researchers and developers who apply processes such as shot peening and deep rolling for completely new application examples for the first time. They are also pioneers in their field when, for the first time, they develop a simulation for this case and, in the end, perhaps also improve a real component by such a process, and because of its influence, the life time could be doubled or tripled. No matter whether someone uses the test results for his promotion or is the installer for a prototype tool, all are zealously engaged to get the best results for the surface.
In the end, it is a great community - a large number of people and institutions who are dealing with the topic of the surface and the proceedings on and under the surface. Next to the subject is, they are all united in the passion for this and they all want more; more smoothness, more compressive residual stresses, more hardness, more lifetime, more timesavings, more applications, more measurements, more evaluations, and more knowledge. It is an exciting everyday life to be part of such a multilayered and dynamic community.

For questions contact sirko@mfn.li

Author: Sirko Fricke