How Is EB Welding Used In Industry?

How Is EB Welding Used In Industry

Electron beam welding (EBW) has many applications and uses. As demands for precision technology grow, so too does the uptake of EBW in a range of sectors.

Which Industries Rely Upon Electron Beam Welding?

EBW involves creating the correct conditions for movement of electrons. When channelled, the electrons form a finely-focused energy beam with a strong enough power density to melt metals. These re-bond into a reliable joint.The process is valued because the weld can normally be achieved without filler and in a single pass, and with minimal metallurgical disturbance. This increases strength and reliability, whilst offering significant productivity increases.

Therefore, EBW has many applications for industries that require strong, reliable joints for complex parts. These include:

1) Aerospace Manufacturing

Flight-critical components which almost always require welding will encompass EBW. The method offers low distortion, which ensures accuracy when working with exotic alloys such as titanium and nickel alloys. The sterile vacuum prevents the risk of oxidation that could weaken the joint, resulting in intricate components that have high resilience to engine vibrations. EBW is also widely used to join new components to existing parts. Examples include:

  • Critical rotating parts
  • Bellows asemblies
  • Combustion chamber
  • Blades and nozzle guide vanes
  • Bearing assemblies (with dissimilar materials)
  • Gear and shaft assemblies
  • Component salvage and repair

2) Automotive/Motorsport

EBW is used in many elements of automotive engineering. EBW is able to successfully join the complex array of metals – such as low carbon steels, micro alloyed steels, titanium alloys, and medium carbon steels which have a carbon content of 0.3% and lower. Parts and assemblies include:

  • Clutch housings
  • Gear assys
  • Spur gears
  • Suspension members and mechanical linkages
  • Torsion springs and roll bars
  • Bearings and drive shafts
  • Pressure bottles
  • Lip seals (welded with seal in place)
  • Turbine impellars to shafts (dissimilar materials)

3) Defence

Defence contracts involve some of the most dynamic design demands. EBW is attractive due to its suitability for use in transmission assemblies. Machine-finishing and hardening is carried out ahead of the welding process, and the use of EBW at the end of the process means that distortion is minimised. For defence and similar industries, highly complex projects can be successfully fabricated. Examples include:

  • High strength equipment enclosures
  • Underwater and space pressure vessels
  • Heavy duty structures
  • Titanium fuel cells
  • High pressure pneumatic and hydraulic vessels
  • Missile casings and launchers
  • Radar wave guides and antennae
  • Flight data collection cases which need to be crash survivable

4) Medical Equipment Manufacturing

The autogenous capabilities of EBW – which allow welding without needing to introduce a filler material – ensures the biocompatibility of the part. EBW is used for medical instruments, surgical tools, and implantable devices. Examples include:

  • Spinal implant devices
  • Finger and knuckle implants
  • Invasive growers
  • Replacement hip and elbow joint

5) Oil & Gas

Hostile environments require corrosion, pressure, and stress resistance. EBW responds to this challenge due to the pin-point beam, which minimises the zones affected by the welding heat. Combined with the single-pass process, this results in high weld integrity. Sample parts include:

  • Electrical measurement equipment
  • Pressure sensors
  • Temperature sensors
  • Pipeline connectors
  • Seismic sensors
  • Turbines
  • Drilling systems
  • Stator and rotor assemblies

6) Power Transmission

Power transmission involves complex assemblies with dissimilar materials. Assemblies have to be able to withstand vibration and heat. Examples include:

  • Gear-to-shaft and coupling-to-shaft assays
  • Synchros-to-gears
  • Spur gear assemblies
  • Herring bone double-helical gears
  • Fluid couplings
  • Epycyclic sun gear and planet gear assemblies
  • Shaft-to-impellor (dissimilar materials)
  • Drive couplings

7) Nuclear Power Generations

This industry requires exceptional quality control and best practice procedures to be endorsed.

Typical applications for EB welding within this sector are: Fuel Rods, Heat Exchangers & Nuclear Waste Containers.

Learn More

The demand for manufacturing innovation has never been higher. As companies seek ways to reduce energy consumption, increase efficiency, and create new solutions to advanced challenges, EBW has maintained its position as a reliable, cost-effective solution. We are certified above the industry standard in each of the main EBW sectors, and have an extensive portfolio of parts and assemblies. Download our free Best Practice Guide today to learn more about EBW benefits. Typical applications for EBW within this sector are fuel rods, heat exchangers, and nuclear waste containers.

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