E-Beam Welding

Electron Beam Welding is used for welds which need to be extremely precise, deep and deformation free. Compared to traditional welding processes, electron beam welding offers several advantages. With Electron Beam Welding it is possible to reach high welding speeds and depths with precise real-time control and high reproducibility. Due to the high local energy density of the electron beam, a wide range of material combinations can be welded which could not be welded normally or only extremely difficult. A low heat input into the material next to the weld seam guarantees a minimal deformation and enables welding of metals with high thermal conductivity. Additionally, vacuum prevents unintentional oxidation of the welded parts. Due to this reason Electron Beam Welding is used in markets such as automotive, electronics, medicine, precision engineering, aerospace or energy and nuclear industries.

Application requirements

  • Fast pump down time
  • Long maintenance intervals to minimize downtime
  • High reliability

How does it work?
Electron Beam Welding is a joining process in which a beam of strongly accelerated Electrons is focused on a workpiece via adjustable magnets. On the surface of the workpiece the electrons lose their energy precisely at the point of impact and heat, melt and evaporate the material there. The beam generation in the electron canon and the actual welding process in the chamber is carried out almost exclusively under vacuum at pressures in the high vacuum range (10-3 to 10-6 hPa). The aim is to prevent a scattering of the electrons due to air molecules and to achieve a trouble free and loss-free beam focusing on the workpiece.

Vacuum requirements
At the electron beam generator, the vacuum pumps must maintain a permanent background pressure in the high vacuum range after an initial, usually not time-critical pump down process. At the welding chamber, the requirement are significantly higher. The chamber volume can vary between a few liters and several hundred cubic meters. Independent of the chamber volume, a short cycle time is always required. This means the vacuum system needs to guarantee a very fast pump down to a defined working pressure which is usually in the upper high vacuum range. The most important criteria for the vacuum pumps is therefore a very high suction speed capacity.

Product portfolio
Pfeiffer Vacuum offers a comprehensive product portfolio for Electron Beam Welding. This includes high and fine vacuum pumps as well as complete pumping systems for the evacuation of the welding chamber and the electron beam generator, pressure gauges from atmospheric pressure to high vacuum pressure, valves, flanges for the connection of vacuum components and leak detectors for the localization of leaks.

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