With the purchase of an infrastructure for Laser Shock Peening, ZAL GmbH is undertaking its largest investment to date for research into new technologies.  Known as Laser Shock Peening, the process of treating the surface of structural components in order to increase their durability (fatigue strength) is currently approaching application maturity. Suitable systems are being sold by the American company LSP Technologies. Aside from the company's own system, there is only one other currently in operation. The third facility worldwide is to be constructed in the ZAL TechCenter. ZAL is thus part of the first generation of users. 

The reason for investing in the state-of-the-art LSP technology is the obvious advantages it presents over conventional surface treatments such as shot peening.  With shot peening, the component surface is blasted with, for example, steel pellets; the use of a laser to treat the surface, in contrast, allows for a precision never seen before. The comparatively simple regulation of the laser beam's penetration depth allows for precise application of the tension that the process creates in the surface of the component.  It is even possible to graduate the tension level. 

Construction of the highly complex facility will begin in the first quarter of 2017. The American colleagues from LSP Technologies will be working hand-in-hand with the experts from ZAL GmbH. Similarly close cooperation is planned for the subsequent research activities.