Steigerwald Strahltechnik in Maisach specialises in electron beam welding technology.
MON recently had the opportunity to talk to Marco Wittig at Steigerwald about the company’s fascinating EBO Bend system, which allows welders to ‘turn the corner.’
MON: Can you explain the principle behind EBO Bend?
MW: The EBO Bend process directs the electron beam through a special pipe device, at the end of which a deflection unit is installed which bends or deflects the beam by 90°, using an electromagnetic coil. This enables us to ‘weld round the corner’ in areas which are otherwise not accessible or, for example, to weld pipes on the inside instead of on the outside.
MON: Are there any specific special requirements to allow this process?
MW: No, any of our electron beam chamber machines of the EBOCAM series can be equipped with an EBO Bend system – it can even be retrofitted to them. In the process, the system, which has a diameter of only 75mm, can be extended to any length, depending on the chamber size, and adapted to different welding distances. It is guaranteed to function reliably, even at a maximum acceleration voltage of 150kV.
MON: Can the system be customised for specific customer requirements?
MW: Yes, because welding tasks are, of course, different from customer to customer. As already mentioned, the system can be extended variably and adapted to various welding distances. A seam locating system, for example, can also be integrated. In this manner, by precise scanning with the electron beam, a seam which is not visible from the outside can be detected directly in the welding position and, thanks to reliable positioning, the seam can be welded with high precision.
MON: What are the main areas of application for EBO Bend?
MW: The areas of application are diverse – mainly, everywhere where a high seam quality is required for welding pipe-flange connections, as is the case, for example, when manufacturing linear accelerators. A Steigerwald chamber machine with EBO Bend system was supplied to CERN, the European organisation for nuclear research, for example, where the world’s largest particle accelerator is used for fundamental physics research on a large scale.