Electronic Prototype and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) and Prototyping

Jun 26 08:15 2008 Ryan Rounds Print This Article

Electronic Prototype and Electron Beam Melting Information and Definition for this alternative to rapid prototyping.

Electron Beam Melting or EBM is a great new alternative method,Guest Posting that can be used instead of both rapid prototyping and manufacturing of metal products. The method is especially useful to the aerospace industry.


The technology is becoming very popular because it has the ability to build dense parts that are similar to any wrought material. Besides, the cost for manufacturing parts through this process is substantially less as compared to the other additive fabrication or metal based methods that are common employed. EBM has also opened the doors to configurations for several new designs.


The technology is very useful as it can help produce parts using titanium within hours as opposed to days. The technology also creates low volume products, which are essential for the aerospace industry. The time and the cost factors involved in creating titanium products are major obstacles for the aerospace industry. However, with the help of EBM, ready to install titanium parts can be created in an efficient manner.


Working of Electron Beam Melting: Like the name suggests, the Electron Beam Melting device consists of an electron beam that has the ability to melt metal powder. The machine lays down layers of the powder metal successively, after reading data from 3 – D CAD model. The parts of the machines are computer controlled, and it builds the finished model by laying one layer over another, of the metal.


The system consists of beam gun that emits the electrons. There is a tungsten filament that releases a cloud of electron when it incandesces. The electrons that are emitted pass through the gun at around ½ the speed of light. The electron movement is organized and directed with the help of a magnetic field within the system. The magnetic field also acts like a lens and directs the beam in the direction that is desired so that the powder can melt to create an appropriate design. The second magnetic field deflects the beam at the desired point on the target powder.


When the electrons hit the metal powder, the kinetic energy of the electrons gets converted into thermal energy. As a result of which, the temperature is raised above the melting point of the metal powder and the powder liquefies.


In the Electron Beam Melting system, the electron gun remains stationary while there are mechanical parts that move and thus deflect the electron beam so that the metal can be build into a desired shape.


The complete process is carried out in a vacuum so as to avoid any kind of energy loss, which may occur, if the electrons are allowed to collide with gas or air molecules. The system is 95 % efficient when it comes to energy consumption.


Besides, the melted product that is formed is in the pure form and thus there is thermal treatment is not required on the product formed. Another major advantage of using the machine is that it is capable of creating strength to weight components. Besides, with the help of the machine only one component can be created instead of the multi piece components that need to be assembled later.

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Ryan Rounds
Ryan Rounds

Go to Prototype Zone to get your free eBook on Prototyping. Prototype Zone also has a Prototype Forum, Rapid Prototyping Information, and a Prototype Blog with daily news on Rapid Prototyping. Go to www.prototypezone.com to visit the site.

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