Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
Electron beam melting (EBM) is distinguished by its superior refining capacity and offers a high degree of flexibility of the heat source. The technology is ideal for remelting and refining of metals and alloys under high vacuum in water-cooled copper molds. It is often classified as a rapid manufacturing method, rather than another 3D printing technology. Worth mentioning anyway.
Today the process is mainly employed for the production of refractory and reactive metals (titanium, zirkonium, tantalum, niobium, molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium, hafnium) and their alloys. It plays an important role in manufacturing of ultra-pure sputtering target materials and electronic alloys and the recycling of titanium scrap.
How it Works
The technology manufactures parts by melting metal powder layer by layer with an electron beam in a high vacuum. Each layer is melted to the exact geometry defined by a CAD model. For each layer in the build the electron beam heats the entire powder bed to an optimal ambient temperature, specific for the material used. As a result, the parts produced with the EBM process are free from residual stresses and have a microstructure free from martensitic structures.
EBM machines utilize a high power electron beam that generates the energy needed for high melting capacity and high productivity. The electron beam is managed by electromagnetic coils providing extremely fast and accurate beam control that allows several melt pools to be maintained simultaneously
The EBM process takes place in vacuum and at high temperature, resulting in stress relieved components with material properties better than cast and comparable to wrought material. Unlike some metal sintering techniques, the parts are fully dense, void-free, and extremely strong.
For more information on this am technologie, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_beam_melting