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What is electron beam welding at 'reduced pressure'?

Until recently thick section electron beam welding (>75mm) has been possible only at a vacuum of ~10 -3mbar; but by using a specially developed electron gun, it is now possible to weld up to 150mm material but in the vacuum range 1 to 10mbar.

This modification to the process retains the well known advantages of:

  • single pass thick section welding
  • low distortion and high weld quality
  • freedom from contamination by atmospheric gases
and adds to them:
  • significant reduction in pumpdown time (cf. time to pump a 150m3 chamber to 10mbar is 16 mins; but down to 10-3 mbar takes 70 mins)
  • cheaper pumping system (capital and running costs)
  • possibility of 'local' vacuum seals

Potential application areas:

  • Nuclear/power generation
  • Offshore
  • Marine
  • Nuclear waste encapsulation
  • Petrochemical
  • Defence

For further information see Joining Technologies or contact us.

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