Electron beam welding is widely used in the aerospace industry, particularly for aeroengine parts (compressor rotors, combustor cans, nozzle guide vanes etc.) but increasingly it is being adopted for airframe parts, in military applications. The process produces high quality welds but this is dependent on the quality of the electron beam and assurance that the weld follows the joint seam.
TWI, as a world leader in electron beam gun design and monitoring systems, has developed a range of techniques to further increase confidence in the quality achieved.
One system permits seam tracking for parts that may distort during welding and change the expected joint path. By scanning the electrons ahead of the weld, a back-scattered image can be developed to determine the true joint line, and an adaptive feedback system ensures movement of the work piece or gun, to keep the weld on the right path.
A newer development is a system of scanning the beam over a sensing device remote from the weld, to provide a quantitative measure of the beam quality at the start (and end) of each weld run. This ensures that the power being delivered to the work piece is the same as that specified for the work in hand.
Both developments have been made as retrofit systems to commercial equipment, and many companies have now taken advantage of these systems in production applications.
For information about TWI's capabilities please contact us.