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For Release: May 24, 2001

Pamelia Caswell
Media Relations Office

Kim Bellamy
Lambda Research, Inc.
Cincinnati, OH 513-561-0883

Small Business Innovation Ready for the Marketplace

What's a small company to do? It's come up with what it believes is a really great technique for increasing the durability of turbine engine's metal components, but it does not have the funds to develop it.

What's a government researcher to do? To bring ideas for cleaner, more fuel efficient aircraft to reality, improved and more durable high-temperature-strength components must be in the marketplace.

What they did was turn to NASA Glenn Research Center's Small Business Innovative Research program, which funds worthy practical research by small businesses and fosters a collaborative relationship between the small business and Glenn researchers.

With funding support from the SBIR program and technical assistance from Glenn researchers, Lambda Research, Inc., Cincinnati, OH, perfected their product. Their low plasticity burnishing apparatus produces a surface finish, or more exactly, a deep layer of compressive residual stress at the surface, that increases fatigue life of metallic materials and their ability to withstand impacts. The affordable burnishing process produces results that are superior to those from conventional shot peening and comparable to those from laser shock peening.

"We fully expect it to be very useful in aircraft engine and airframe overhaul, where it can extend the life of aging aircraft and substantially reduce the overall cost of ownership, said Paul Prevey, president of Lambda Research." Just this month, after 3 years in the program, Prevey announced his company has begun to market its low plasticity burnishing process though a spin-off company, Surface Enhancement Technologies.

"This is the kind of success we like to see achieved in our program," said Walter Kim, SBIR program manager at Glenn. "We could tell by the continuing interest of the military and the commercial aircraft industry as well as NASA that they are really on to something." The program is accepting proposals for a new round of SBIR contracts through due June 6, 2001. For more information about the program, see:

For more information about low plasticity burnishing, see: and

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