Electron beam melting takes time-proof place at world industry as the most effective method for production of superpurity metals and alloys such as titanium, niobium, tantalum, molybdenum, copper and others.
Electron beam melting allows solving a wide spectrum of problems which are very complicated or even impossible for other methods of vacuum metallurgy. At the same time electron beam melting permits meet the requirements of commercial practicability.
The main technological advantages of electron beam melting are following:
- possibility to produce metals and alloys with ultralow content of harmful impurities;
- possibility to eliminate ingress of unmelted charge, heavy and light inclusions to ingot (in electron beam melting furnace with cold hearth);
- possibility to use without additional preparatory operations different kinds of charge including metal scrap and waste;
- possibility to produce ingots and slabs of very different cross-sections including hollow;
Slabs and their surface
- possibility to control separately for melting, refinement and crystallization processes. These features allow on-line regulating of technological mode of running melting process over the wide range, control for metal solidification and thereby guarantee the production of high quality ingots.
Heating sources of materials in electron beam melting are electron beam guns.
Today electron beam guns are one of the most effective means of materials heating in vacuum metallurgy. Their main advantages are following:
- Power density on the surface of processed materials can be controlled in extraordinarily wide range;
- High controllability of electron beam which allow processing of surface with very irregular shape by the only single EB gun;
- High efficiency of electron beam resulting in great general performance factor of electron beam metallurgy;
- Multipurpose applications of EB guns in different sectors of vacuum metallurgy - EB melting and refining of metals and alloys, evaporation of metallic and non-metallic materials, electron beam welding, surface heat treatment, producing of metallic powder and compact materials with hyperfine structure by spraying and liquid dynamic compacting in vacuum etc.