Electron Beam Melting
EBM (Electron Beam Melting) can be described as the “rapid prototyping” of metals. It is better known as the “rapid manufacturing method.” The parts are manufactured by having the metal powder melted layer by layer through a beam of electrons in a high vacuum. The parts produced acquire strength and solidity, and are void-free as well. The electrons have a very high speed; around 5 to 8 times the light speed.
The bombardment of these electrons takes place on the work material’s surface. This generates heat which is enough for melting the part’s surface and causing it to vaporize locally. A vacuum is required for the operation of EBM. This means that the size of the workpiece is directly proportional to the vacuum used. This technique works on composites, ceramics, non-metals, and, as stated above, metals.
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