Published on 21 January 2013
TWI has carried out a crucial tolerance sensitive electron beam welding contract.
The components were D section fabrications nearly a metre across and some three metres long, TWI's client specified at the proposal stage that the flat of the 'D' was to be welded to the curved section within 0/+6mm tolerance.
Conventional arc welding techniques were ruled out at an early stage because they produced unacceptable distortion.
Electron beam welding was subsequently used because of its low distortion characteristics. Apart from producing fabrications within the client's tolerance specification, EB welding requires a far less complex joint preparation.
Arc welding techniques would require a single V or double V machining operation. EB is performed on components with simple butt preparation: this also allows more accurate assembly of the fabrication for welding.
Each fabrication was completed within acceptable tolerances with a 50% saving in production time.
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