Fusion welding

Electron beam welding in welding machine:

A beam of electrons may be accelerated by a high voltage to provide a high-energy heat source for welding. The power density of electron beams is high (1010 to 1012 W m–2) and keyhole welding is the normal operating mode. The problem of power dissipation when the electrons collide with atmospheric gas molecules is usually overcome by carrying out the welding operation in a vacuum.

Features of the process of electron beam welding:

Features of the process include:

  • very high energy density;
  • confined heat source;
  • high depth-to-width ratio of welds;
  • normally requires a vacuum;
  • High equipment cost.

Applications of the electron beam welding:

Applications of electron beam welding have traditionally included welding of aerospace engine components and instrumentation, but it may be used on a wide range of materials when high precision and very deep penetration welds are required.

Laser welding:

The laser may be used as an alternative heat source for fusion welding. The focused power density of the laser can reach 1010 or 1012 W m–2and welding is often carried out using the ‘keyhole’ technique.

Features of the laser welding:

Significant features of laser welding are:

  •  very confined heat source at low power;
  •  deep penetration at high power;
  •  reduced distortion and thermal damage;
  •  out-of-vacuum technique;
  •  High equipment cost.

These features have led to the application of lasers for micro joining of electronic components, but the process is also being applied to the fabrication of automotive components and precision machine tool parts in heavy section steel.

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