EBFlow is a local vacuum electron beam welding system developed by Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE). It can be readily transported and operated on site and applied to structures significantly larger than can be accommodated in a vacuum chamber.
To date it has only been possible to perform electron beam welding at sites equipped with a vacuum chamber large enough to house the structures under manufacture. EBFlow’s coarse vacuum can be mounted on tracks and operated locally. The technology can be used in any plant where large components are welded.
With massive increases in throughput, this has the potential to change your business model and unlock the true manufacturing potential of your facility. In tests, EBFlow has been shown to be 20 to 30 times faster than conventional arc welding, offering transformational gains in productivity. It also uses less power than conventional arc welding processes, thereby lowering a plant’s carbon footprint.
EBFlow eliminates the need for a vacuum chamber through a local, coarse vacuum which is established and maintained only where it is needed. High performance EBW can take place in any plant where large components are welded on a large scale as long as adequate shielding from X-Rays can be provided. Using a system of sliding seals and precision handling enables fast longitudinal and circumferential welds on large work pieces. A coarse vacuum is ideal for thick section welding – achieving the fastest thick section welding rates ever.
There is no filler wire, the autogenous weld can be heat treated and the weld rendered metallurgically indistinguishable from the parent material.
The following macros are EB welded in a single pass using EBFlow:
Top left: 76mm thick stainless steel
Top right: 45mm thick titanium 6Al 4V alloy
Bottom: 150mm thick pressure vessel steel
Cambridge Vacuum Engineering has been working with TWI (The Welding Institute) and a consortium of companies to help commercialise electron beam welding fabrication for the power generation market. The EBManPower project has seen the industrial deployment of a new type of localised vacuum EBW technology, which could revolutionise manufacturing in the power generation sector.
The EBFlow system will be implemented & validated in this project based on high productivity EB welding which reduces welding time from 6,000 to <200 hrs, equivalent to a reduction in cost of over 85%. EBFlow will be deployed at the Cammell Laird site in Birkenhead to fabricate a demonstration pressure vessel in a cost-effective manner.
The EBManPower project aims to reduce the cost for thick-section steel structures for nuclear power plant and offshore wind use as well as to examine the potential in other industrial applications.
Sustainability, efficiency and quality are the key considerations for factories of the future. Moving towards greener processes is essential, but this shouldn’t mean a compromise on output quality.
The right equipment is what makes this a reality, and this is how Ebflow can help.