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VSR Applications & Limits
Just like any industrial process, VSR has both its areas of applications and limitations. These include:
- Machine Tool Bases & Columns
- Tooling for Automotive & Aerospace
- Pump Housings
- Hydroturbine Equipment, esp. bottom and discharge rings
- Paper Mill Machinery
- Mining Equipment
- Lifting yokes and other crane components
- Vacuum chambers
- Weld Repairs
- Submarine Components
- Large, dimensionally critical Components
There are no limits on metal chemistry or metallurgical changes due the VSR Process, which makes it ideal to apply to metals that respond poorly, or respond marginally, to thermal stress relief. These metals include both austenitic stainless and low-carbon, high-strength steels. Also included are bi- or multi-metallic components. Weldments made of austenitic stainless and mild steels often suffer crack initiation, if thermally stress relieved. This can be avoided entirely by using the VSR Process to stabilize such components.
Two requirements of the VSR Process define its limitations:
- Ductility: The material must be ductile, so that plastic flow during the VSR process is possible. Through hardened or extensively cold-worked materials, such as cold-rolled steel, at best respond marginally to the VSR Process. Hardness levels above 35 Rc typically cannot be VSR Processed, but workpiece geometry can also play a part in successful application at this level.
- Workpiece geometry: The VSR Process uses resonance to boost the mechanical loading necessary to stress relieve. Resonance is determined almost entirely by the workpiece geometry, much more so than material, since the ratio of density to stiffness for almost all metals falls within a fairly narrow range. A useful qualifying guide is to compute the aspect ratio, a dimensionless number derived by taking the overall size or 3D diameter, and dividing it by the average wall thickness of the construction. Aspect ratios below 12 should be carefully examined for VSR Application, while those above 30 are highly acceptable.