Ebflow

Introduction

High-productivity welding is an important factor influencing the economics of fabrication of large structures destined for use in the pressure vessel, offshore, and heavy engineering fabrication industries. Electron beam welding is a process that offers significant benefits in terms of productivity increases, as well as repeatability and accuracy in the fabrication of large, heavy wall structures. To date, the use of this process has been limited by the need for a vacuum chamber of appropriate dimensions.

CVE has developed a local vacuum electron beam welding system, which can be readily transported and operated on-site and applied to significantly larger than can be accommodated in a vacuum chamber. Therefore, Ebflow brings all the advantages of electron beam welding to steel structures of unlimited size.

Ebflow facilitates very high joint completion rates in thick-section metals (ferrous and non-ferrous, e.g.: carbon steels, stainless steels, aluminium, titanium) and is 20-30 times faster than conventional submerged arc welding, 200mm per minute in 150mm thick steel has been achieved – allowing for the fastest thick section rates ever.

CVE

Highlights

  • A coarse vacuum is established and maintained only where it is needed
  • Immediate post-weld inspection possible
  • Increased weld quality and reliability
  • Minimal distortion
  • Minimal weld prep/bevel required – ‘edge to edge’ fit-up
  • Significant improvements to carbon footprint, quality, economy, and productivity
  • Using a system of sliding seals and precision handling enables fast set-up and pre-welding operations for a variety of workpiece dimensions
  • Welding consumables are not required (no filler wire – autogenous)
  • Welding without pre-heating is possible
CVE
How Ebflow Works
Benefits of Ebflow
Applications and Industries
Gallery

Ebflow is a local vacuum electron beam welding (EBW) system, which can be readily transported and operated on-site and applied to structures significantly larger than those that can be accommodated in a vacuum chamber.

Ebflow eliminates the need for a vacuum chamber through a local, coarse vacuum, which is established and maintained only where it is needed.

High-performance EBW can take place in any plant where large components are welded on a large scale, as long as adequate shielding from x-rays can be provided.

A system of sliding seals and precision handling enables fast longitudinal and circumferential welds on large workpieces. A coarse vacuum is ideal for thick-section welding – achieving the fastest thick section welding rates ever.

There is no filler wire the autogenous weld can be heat treated and the weld rendered metallurgically indistinguishable from the parent material.

Coarse Vacuum Operation

Ebflow’s differential pumping and RF heated diode gun allow for operation in local vacuum pressure of c.1mbar (high vacuum is 5×10-1-1×10-1mbar).

Precision Robotics

Precision handling of the head of the Ebflow system.

Can be mounted flexibly, e.g.: on circular tracks.

Local Seal

Seals around the welding head create the coarse vacuum.

A box seal is provided for the rear of the weld.

Fast, Flexible Welding

Fast longitudinal and circumferential welds are possible on large workpieces.

The local vacuum nature of Ebflow is particularly suitable for large tubular thick-section material.

Ebflow is 20-30 times faster than conventional arc welding, offering transformational gains in productivity.

It also uses less power than conventional arc welding processes, thereby lowering the carbon footprint.

Among the myriad of other benefits is the ability to perform low-heat input welds that result in reduced distortion – ensuring quality – and the option to perform NDT testing immediately after welding, fast-tracking the manufacturing process, and driving down costs.

 

Lower Carbon Footprint

The energy consumed in one metre of a weld is as much as 75% less using Ebflow than in standard submerged arc welding. In addition  to this there is:

  • Reduced transportation and installation costs
  • No need for filler materials, chamber and associated pumping equipment
  • No pre-heating
  • No loading-unloading operations

 

Greater Productivity
  • Higher speed of manufacture
  • On-site welding
  • No weld joint bevel required
  • Flexibly weld objects of any size
  • No pre-heating required
  • No loading, evacuation and unloading operations
  • Immediate post-weld inspection possible
  • Single-pass welding capability
  • Post weld heat treatment (PWHT) can create a weld rendered metallurgically indistinguishable from the parent material enabling welded components to be used in place of a single forging
Improved Economy
  • Lower working capital requirements
  • Lower personnel costs
  • No chamber and associated pumping equipment
  • Reduced transportation costs
  • No filler materials – lower consumable costs
  • Smaller factory footprint possible
  • The energy consumed in one metre of a weld is 75% less using Ebflow than in the standard submerged arc welding (SAW) process
Higher Quality
  • Continuously repeatable high-quality welds
  • Localised residual stresses
  • Weld rendered metallurgically indistinguishable from the parent material
  • Minimal distortion
  • Increased accuracy and repeatability
Oil and Gas
  • Anchor piles
  • Jacket structure including nodes, cones, braces, legs, and conductor framing
  • Piles and followers
  • J-tubes and caissons
  • Riser clamps
  • Flotation tanks and buoyancy tubes
  • Module support frames including nodes, cones, braces
  • Module framing including nodes, columns, fabricated beams
  • Flarebooms
  • Subsea structures such as manifold and production system support
  • Process vessels (columns, reactors, separators, drums etc.)
  • Heat exchangers (directly cooling towers, indirectly shell & tube/plate)
  • Storage tanks
Nuclear
  • Pressure vessels for conventional, small modular reactor (SMR) and micro modular reactor (MMR) fabrication
  • Associated pressure retaining and structural components
Shipbuilding
  • Modular joining
  • Hull shell
  • Decks
  • Tanks
  • Web frames
  • Bulkheads
Civil Engineering
  • Flat plate
  • Flat plate-strip
  • Long product open
  • sections i.e. I&H universal beams and columns
  • Structural hollow sections
  • Plate girders
Offshore Renewable Energy
  • Monopiles
  • Jacket structures including nodes, cones, braces, legs, and conductor framing
Pressure Vessels
  • Process vessels (columns, reactors, separators, drums)
  • Heat exchangers (direct cooling towers, indirect shell and tubes or plates)
  • Storage tanks
Wider Applications
  • General construction
  • Earthmoving equipment
  • Engineering and machinery
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Turbine generators
  • Tunnel boring machines
Single pass Ebflow weld in S355 carbon steel

 

Ebflow Explainer Video

Ebflow Demonstration Video

Full penetration single pass Ebflow welds in 80mm carbon steel, 40mm thick titanium and 75mm thick stainless steel

Traditional submerged arc weld (left) next to a single pass Ebflow weld (right), in 80mm thick carbon steel

GET IN TOUCH

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