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Beyond the Blast: What is Shot Peening?

At Bronco, our passion extends far beyond providing innovative, heavy-duty blast cleaning solutions. We’re fueled by a desire to empower our customers with knowledge, ensuring they have the tools to excel in their fields. Whether you’re a foundry, fabricator, fastener manufacturer, contract manufacturer, or OEM, new to your role, or seasoned, we bring 40+ years of expertise to answer your questions. One topic we frequently receive questions about is shot peening. Read on for our top questions and answers about this highly effective metal enhancement technique.

Q: What is Shot Peening?

Shot peening is a process utilized in manufacturing and metalworking to improve the surface properties of a material by bombarding it with small spherical media called shot. The shot is round and made of cast steel, cut wire, ceramic, or glass. The shot peening process involves propelling the media at the surface of the material at high velocities using compressed air or centrifugal force.

Q: What are the benefits?

The impact of the shot, cold, works the material’s surface. The process causes residual compressive stress, which enhances the material’s resistance to bending and pitting fatigue, stress corrosion cracking, and other forms of mechanical failure. Additionally, in some metals such as titanium and stainless steel, shot peening can help to increase the material’s hardness and improve its resistance to wear and corrosion.

As a bonus, many of Bronco’s customers have seen 30-50% efficiency gains using Bronco shot peening machines compared to their previous shot peening machines. These gains are driven by the high-efficiency UDD wheel and the Auto-Set Valve for shot flow control.


30-50% Increase in Efficiency

Using Bronco Shot Peening Equipment

Q: What industries use Shot Peening?

Shot peening is commonly used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, power transmission, gear manufacturing, and spring manufacturing, where components are subjected to high cyclical load levels and need to maintain their structural integrity over time. 

Q: What is the difference between Shot Blasting and Shot Peening?

While the equipment used for shot peening and blasting looks similar, the controls and quality steps differ. Generally speaking, shot peening is more complex and technical than blasting. On a typical shot peening machine, additional controls for shot flow, wheel speed, mill belt speed, and shot classification are built into the machine. Additional quality steps also occur concerning intensity determination, coverage inspection, shot inspection, and calibration of various machine components.  

Blasting, on the other hand, is a limited controlled process compared to shot peening. The shot classification is less stringent, calibration is not as critical, and most of the quality steps are not held to a tight specification. In most applications, the material is blasted to obtain a surface finish or prepare it for other future production steps.

Q: Are there benefits to a Shot Peening machine if we only use it for Shot Blasting?

Yes. First, a shot peening machine can be used for blasting parts, but a blasting machine can rarely be used to shot peen parts. Second, using a shot peening machine’s integrated controls can improve efficiency by up to 50% over a standard blast machine. The third and most significant benefit is additional control over the blasting process. The controls integrated into the machine will ensure a consistent outcome cycle after cycle, reducing the need for reruns and rework, which saves money.

Q: What is the difference between Shot Peening and certified Shot Peening?

This terminology can be tricky for those unfamiliar with the lingo. In short, certified shot peening is the only true version of shot peening. Certified shot peening is performed and certified to a shot peening specification. The most common specifications are Mil-S-13165, AMS-S-13165, J2441, and AMS 2430, which provide detailed performance standards and quality requirements to attain shot peening certification. If you see shot peening without certification to a standard, it is an uncontrolled blasting process.  

Q: What are Bronco’s Shot Peening options?

Bronco Blast Equipment offers a variety of standard and customizable shot peening options. Common machines used for shot peening are the Tumble Blast, Table Blast, Multi-Table Blast, and Spinner Hanger Blast Machines.

  • Shot rate controls (Auto-Set Valve)
  • Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) to control the blast wheel and mill belt speed (tumble)
  • Shot separator to maintain shot quality
  • HMI for integrated computer control of all the key machine system components and receipt control. 

Our team is happy to discuss which shot peening option will work best for your application

Send us a message or call us at 262-330-0006