Meta-Lax® Metal Vibratory Stress Relieving Equipment & Processes | Bonal Technologies - tableWhat is residual stress and stress relief?

Residual Stress is an internal pressure that is retained by metal after mechanical or thermal straining once the source has been removed. The source of residual stress in metal can be mechanical (forcibly changing the shape of grains), or thermal (sharp temperature drop). Stress, in particular, heat-induced stress, causes three types of problems – distortion following machining or grinding, delayed distortion, and premature fatigue failures. Stress relief neutralizes thermally induced stress, thereby eliminating subsequent problems. Changing mechanical properties or grain structure is not necessary to accomplish stress relief of thermally induced residual stress.

How does Meta-Lax® vibratory stress relief
compare to heat stress relief?

The most important comparison between Meta-Lax vibratory stress relief and heat stress relief is that both processes achieve effective results consistently. Meta-Lax is as good or better than heat stress relief in achieving effective stress relief results consistently. See Scientific Proof. The main differences lie in the side-effects that heat has on metal. Meta-Lax stress relief does not cause heat side-effects, including treatment distortion, scaling, or changing of the mechanical properties.

This allows the Meta-Lax technology, equipment, and process to be used on many various kinds of parts that would be challenging for heat stress relief such as finished and semi-finished parts, assemblies, hardened metals, tubular and structural steel, and non-ferrous metals. However, if any of those heat-related side-effects are desired, then heat stress relief should be used.
See Meta-Lax vs. Heat Treatment

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Meta-Lax® Equipment & Technology for Stress Relief

Meta-Lax Consistently Provides These Benefits and More:

  1. Quality Equal to Heat Treat SR
  2. Consistent Results
  3. 95% LESS Stress Relief Costs
  4. 98% LESS Stress Relief Time
  5. Certifiable
  6. 85% LESS Machine Distortion
  7. 41% Machine Time Savings
  8. Reduce Premature Cracking
  9. No Size or Weight Limitation
  10. No Heat Treat Side Effects

Learn More About Meta-Lax for Stress Relief

See Case Studies     See Our Equipment

FAQs About Meta-Lax® for Stress Relief

How long does Meta-Lax stress relief take?

For most parts, Meta-Lax stress relief treatment time is completed between 20 minutes to two hours.

What are the limitations of Meta-Lax processing for size and weight?

There are no limitations as to the size or weight of the parts that Meta-Lax processing can treat. That’s because the smaller parts can be conveniently clamped to a vibration table, platform whereas the larger parts would be Meta-Lax treated a section at a time. Meta-Lax processing has treated tiny heart valves that weighed a fraction of an ounce to rolling mill machinery and rock crushers that weighed over 1,000,000 lbs and everything in between. Click here for 12 extreme examples.

What are the limitations of Meta-Lax stress relief for metals?

Meta-Lax stress relief is not effective on metals where mechanically induced stresses are dominant (for example, cold-rolled steel plates) where machine stability is the goal. Copper and high copper content metals do not respond consistently. The edges of burnouts do not respond well to Meta-Lax stress relief.

Can Meta-Lax stress relief be applied during welding, and if so, why would one want to?

YES, Bonal developed and patented the concept of using vibrations during welding. We call this Meta-Lax "weld conditioning" or "pulse puddle arc welding." The main benefits of Meta-Lax weld conditioning are preventing 50-95% of the normal weld distortion and preventing 50-95% of weld cracking. There are numerous other bonus benefits to using Meta-Lax weld conditioning like welding up to 25% faster, reducing (up to 300-F -150-C) preheat, reducing porosity, and more. The reason why Meta-Lax can be used during welding is that the level of vibrational energy that Meta-Lax uses is very mild and will not disrupt the welder during welding. The weld metal tends to "pack down" as solidification occurs. Click here for more details.

What is the customer satisfaction rate?

EXTREMELY HIGH. Bonal hired a third-party consulting firm to conduct a blind “customer satisfaction” survey of its customers over the last 16 month period. The results are outstanding. According to the data, 98% of Bonal’s customers were completely satisfied with their equipment, 98% were completely satisfied with Bonal’s sales and service departments, and 93% were completely satisfied with the results. Click here for a survey summary.

What is the cost of Bonal products?

Bonal has three product lines utilizing Bonal’s patented sub-harmonic technology – Meta-Lax (15 models), Pulse Puddle Arc Welding (5 models), and Black Magic (3 models). Collectively the prices range from $5,400 USD to $32,300 USD. Contact Bonal for a price quotation for the system that best fits your operation and needs. In addition, Bonal offers several CE Approved models for European customers. Click here for our Product Comparison Guide.

Isn't Meta-Lax equipment similar to other Vibratory Stress Relief equipment?

Yes and NO. Other VSR equipment may use vibration to attempt to achieve stress relief, but in reality, several very important differences could mean the difference between success and failure. CLICK HERE for additional comparisons and references.

Difference #1 – The Process. Only Meta-Lax uses the sub-harmonic energy level. All other VSR equipment use "at-resonance" vibrations, which are violent, produce inconsistent results according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and could be damaging to the parts, area equipment, and shop personnel. The mild, non-destructive sub-harmonic energy level has been mathematically proven to be optimum when using vibrations to stress-relieve metal. Sub-harmonic technology is exclusively Bonal's patented technology.

Difference #2 – Consistency. If consistency is not important, then any VSR process will do. But if consistency is important, then Meta-Lax should be the only viable vsr consideration. Meta-Lax stress relief is the only VSR process that has been able to meet or exceed the heat stress relief in effectiveness and consistency, as proven by industry and the laboratory.

Difference #3 – Certification. Upon close review only Meta-Lax processing certifies that stress relief is complete – NO GUESSING.

Difference #4 – Confidence. The majority of Bonal’s customers use Meta-Lax processing in place of heat stress relief with equal or greater confidence than heat stress relief.

Difference # 5 – Capacity. Since Meta-Lax processing is mild, Meta-Lax can be used during welding mainly to prevent weld distortion and weld cracking. Bonal developed this concept, which we call "Meta-Lax Weld Conditioning." Weld Conditioning is also covered in Bonal's patents. Using resonant vibrations during welding is counter-productive on weld quality and annoying to the welder. CLICK HERE for additional comparisons and references.

What does Meta-Lax do to the metal internally that causes stress relief to take place?

Meta-Lax vibrations excite metal to gently oscillate in a higher energy state than normal. As it does, areas of high stress concentrations that were caused by a sharp temperature drop use the additional energy to redistribute the stress to areas of lower stress, thereby eliminating the overall effects of stress within the metal part. It is important to note that the optimum vibrational energy level is always in the sub-harmonic zone and not at the higher amplitudes levels. This is similar to when one sits on an easy chair to relax their back with vibrations. They will realize that mild vibrations will produce relief, not violent ones. Likewise with metal – metal-relaxation works, - Meta-Lax. CLICK HERE for “Meta-Lax – How It Works” article.

What is the life expectancy of the equipment and maintenance?

Meta-Lax equipment has been specially designed for vibration stress relief. The control consoles typically last 15-20 years, the Data Graphs last 10-15 years, and the force inducers last 25-30 years with routine maintenance. Regarding maintenance, it is recommended to replace the bearings and brushes of Bonal’s force inducers every 2,000 operation hours (or about 3,000 average parts), and recalibrate the transducer every 1-2 years.

Who endorses the use of Meta-Lax technology?

Meta-Lax technology has been verified by over seven major organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy. There have been over 165 published articles in trade magazines, of which over 125 of these included pre-approved case studies from Bonal customers, including NASA, U.S. Navy, and General Motors. Also, Bonal and/or Meta-Lax technology have received Special Awards and Recognitions from the National Science Foundation, U.S Department of Energy, GSA, and a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year for 2008. CLICK HERE for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Tech Brief.  CLICK HERE for several customer comments taken from customer approved published articles.


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Good (weld) Vibrations
How Vibratory Weld Conditioning
Mitigates Distortion
With weld conditioning the welder might be able to weld consistently from one end of the part to the other-no flipping,…
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