One of the main application areas of the electron beam is the drilling of centrifugal disks for the production of glass wool used in insulating materials.
There are also many application possibilities in the food and chemical industries. One example which we always like to mention is our "tofu tray", i.e. a sieve having 12 million holes per square meter for tofu production.
The electron beam method is also applied in aerospace industry, particularly for drilling holes used for adding cooling gases into engine components. These holes can be positioned up to 30° to the surface.
General mechanical engineering:
Here are many electron beam applications in the fields of sieves and filtration. The electron beam method is particularly used when other processes prove to be inadequate. Examples: pulp and paper / paper industry, perforated baskets for plastic recycling etc.
Thin slots in thick material
Thin slots in thick material
With the electron beam, pro-beam perforates slotted holes and slots in metal sheets up to 4 mm in thickness!
No other technology is capable of doing this.
The figures show slots of 5 mm x 150 µm in stainless steel of various thicknesses.
The challenge in filtration and separation processes
In many filtration and separation processes, the substrates often lead to rapid clogging of the round holes and thus to obstruction of the available screen area.
As an alternative hole shape, slots can improve matters because slotted holes and slots are rarely completely covered and therefore the flow is maintained.
However, filtration with slot-type screens was previously only possible by using very thin sheets of low strength together with elaborate support structures (e.g. 0.4 mm Ni-screen, 1 mm laser screens), or by using wedge wires with the related disadvantage of the small open area.
The pro-beam solution
Electron-beam perforated slot screens with material thicknesses up to 4 mm.
• no support structures such as cages are required
• longer screen life because of thicker material
• higher process pressures thanks to greater screen rigidity
• larger open area compared to wedge wire
• less clogging of the slots compared to round holes
Markets and applications
• paper industry / pulp and paper (replacement of wedge wires)
• food industry (starch / sugar)
• machinery / plant engineering (screens, filters, centrifuges)
Similar to the welding process, electrons are accelerated in vacuum with 120kV to almost 2/3 of the speed of light. When colliding with the workpiece the electrons give off their kinetic energy to the workpiece in the form of heat. Thus, a local molten pool is created in the center of which a vapor capillary emerges. As soon as this melt channel with the vapor capillary in the center has penetrated the workpiece completely it will meet the backing material, which vaporizes explosively after contact driving out the molten material in opposite direction (figure 3).
The result is a very smooth hole (channel) having a resolidified molten layer of 5-10µm on the hole walls. At the point of entry (side where the beam enters) the hole edges have a slight rounding. In addition, on the upper side (side where the beam enters) a slight burr is formed on the hole edges since the cut material partially sticks to them.
The video shows the drilling of 2000 holes/sec in tofu screens