Almen intensity and surface coverage are well-known to be the defining parameters of shot peening-based surface treatments. These parameters are directly affected by material properties, the extension of the contact zone, the geometry of the impact pair, as well as the impact rate and velocity. Such intricate relationships have resulted in often dissimilar predictions of shot peening effects even while using an identical combination of Almen intensity and surface coverage. With the fast pace introduction of new generation impact-based surface treatments, there is a need to find a more widespread parameter that would facilitate the direct comparison of all different treatments and relate the main process parameters to the resultant mechanical characteristics. Herein, we propose to use an energy-based parameter to describe the peening process in a more widespread approach, which collectively incorporates the effects of the Almen intensity and surface coverage, as well as the diameter, material, and velocity of the impact media. A set of finite element analyses was developed to demonstrate the correlation of the peening process effects with this energetic approach. Comparisons with the experimental data served as proof of concept, confirming that the proposed method could provide a quite good estimation of the effect of peening parameters on the treated material.
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