Fatigue data usually display substantial scatter. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate how simulated variation in surface treatment processing parameters and material properties affect the predicted fatigue life (mean and scatter) of a component. This is achieved by applying robust design principles to fatigue life evaluation methods, using shot peening as the representative manufacturing process for this study. Analyzing changes in the appropriate fatigue performance quality characteristic due to variations in the process parameters and material properties will identify levels of the controllable process parameters which maximize the mean fatigue performance and minimize its scatter. The simulation predictions of this study are consistent with past experimental observations which show that compressive residual stress distributions tend to increase mean fatigue life and reduce its scatter for a component. Our results extend these observations by relating the increase in mean life and the reduction in scatter to the controllable manufacturing and design parameters. In addition, the intermediate measure of compressive zone depth is identified as a possible off-line production quality check that relates directly to the component fatigue performance (mean and scatter), as well as an aid to the designer to identify an appropriate surface treatment process. This study serves as an initial step in the development of a generalized methodology that can aid engineers with design for robust fatigue performance for other manufacturing processes.

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