With high voltage, a narrow beam of electrons emanates from an electron beam gun. The beam is focused on the work piece contained inside a vacuum chamber. Traveling at nearly the speed of light, the electrons convert their energy kinetically and produce a great amount of energy in an extremely localized area. The targeted weld joint is quickly heated to the melting temperature which produces fusion.
What is Electron Beam Welding
The beam is very narrow and the heat affected zone is minimized. The penetration of the weld can be precisely adjusted from near zero to as much as 6 inches. Distortion and metallurgical effects are much less than other types of welding such as TIG and MIG. Dissimilar metals can be joined such as copper to stainless steel. The weld itself is very pure due to the lack of contamination in the vacuum chamber. Reflectivity is not a factor in EB welding like it is in laser welding. Some applications benefit from the residual vacuum that is retained in a hermetically sealed enclosure once it is electron beam welded closed. EB is a well-proven technology having been around since the 1950’s.