Forum for Engineering Structural Integrity

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Forum for Engineering Structural Integrity

This week, CVE attended the 17th Engineering Structural Integrity Assessment Conference (ESIA17) between the 23-25 May 2023. The conference was in conjunction with the China Structural Integrity Consortium’s International Symposium on Structural Integrity (ISSI 2023).

The conference, which took place at The Lowry in the heart of Greater Manchester, provided a unique opportunity for the engineering structural integrity community to learn about novel solutions and technical advances to some of the most urgent challenges facing engineering today, and to network with leaders in ESI from around the world.


Chris Punshon, CVE’s Head of New Energy Applications, presented on the suitability of electron beam welds for the fabrication of wind turbine sub structures.

Wind turbine structures are made from thick carbon steel (typically grade S355) plates. The thickness makes submerged arc welding the default choice by manufacturers.
However, submerged arc welding requires preheat, a significant quantify of welding consumable, and the multiple passes mean welding is time consuming.

Electron beam welding is an alternative welding technique, which has the potential to significantly reduce welding time. Steel of up to 200mm thick can be welded in a single pass, and a longitudinal seam weld in a monopile can be produced in minutes rather than hours.

A key step in enabling fabricators to implement electron beam welding is to confirm that the mechanical properties and fatigue performance are suitable.

The presentation presented the key similarities and differences between electron beam welds and conventional arc welds, including a discussion of the most appropriate way to test electron beam welds in order to obtain a reasonable measure of fracture toughness.

For more information, please get in touch.

CVE Join UK Pavilion at Battery Show Europe

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CVE will be exhibiting as part of the UK Pavilion at Battery Show Europe, 23-25 May 2023.

Taking place in Stuttgart, Germany, the exhibition is the leading meeting place for the advanced battery and H/EV technology community.

The UK Pavilion is returning to highlight the latest in Government backed advanced automotive battery technology. The UK Pavilion will host 17 SMEs, who will bring exciting new battery technologies and manufacturing techniques, representing the very best of UK clean automotive innovation. 

A record number of SMEs will be participating in the UK Pavilion at the Battery Show, highlighting the breadth and depth of innovation made possible by Government support.

Philippa Oldham, Stakeholder Engagement Director at APC, commented,

“The significant increase in companies participating in the UK Pavilion this year demonstrates that the UK innovation eco-system is thriving, helping us maintain a competitive position in clean and EV technology development. Through participation in the Battery Show Europe, UK Pavilion exhibitors are keen to foster partnerships whilst encouraging investment and collaborative innovation with organisations in Germany, Western Europe and the wider world. We look forward to supporting them in their efforts.”


CVE will be showcasing their progressive manufacturing solutions that will reduce costs and time to market for battery and motor manufacturers.

You can find us at stand 10D30, where we will be pleased to discuss CVE’s electron beam welding machines for the automotive sector.

Find out more by following the links below.

Evflow – Electron Beam Welding Machine for EV Components

Electrification Industry

CVE Win Faraday Challenge Funding

Welding Electrical Conductors for Electric Vehicles

Electron Beam Welding of Busbars

An Introduction to Electron Beam Welding

Laser Welding vs Electron Beam Welding

CVE Host Plenary Session at ICAPP 2023

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International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants

CVE recently presented at the 2023 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP), in conjunction with the 38th Korea Atomic Power Annual Conference.

Bob Nicolson, Managing Director, and Chris Punshon, Head of New Energy Applications, presented on “High Power, Local Vacuum Electron Beam and Laser Welding Solutions for Nuclear Applications”, as highly respected specialists in the field, following an invitation to be plenary speakers from the Technical Programme Committee.

The International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP) is a forum for leaders of the nuclear community to exchange information, present results from their work, review the state of the industry, and discuss future directions and needs for the deployment of new nuclear power plant systems around the world. The technical programme of the ICAPP 2023 consisted of 3 plenary sessions, 1 panel session and more than 40 parallel sessions.

Running alongside the International Nuclear Energy Expo 2023, the congress took place on the 23rd-27th April 2023 at The Hwabaek International Convention Centre (HICO) in Gyeongju, Korea.

Figure 1. Bob Nicolson (left), Chris Punshon (right).


Figure 2. ICAPP Conference 2023.


Figure 3. High Power, Local Vacuum Electron Beam and Laser Welding Solutions for Nuclear Applications.

Figure 4. CVE presented as part of Plenary 2.

First Electron Beam Welding of Wind Turbine Monopile

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First Electron Beam Welding of Wind Turbine Monopile Achieves Dramatic Results

A collaboration between Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE), SSE Renewables, Sif Group, and TWI, has resulted in the first-ever electron beam welded section to be incorporated in an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation (transition piece). The resulting monopile is set for installation in the second phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is located more than 130km off the Northeast coast of England.

Monopiles are currently fabricated using conventional techniques such as submerged arc welding (SAW), but the consortium has demonstrated that electron beam (EB) welding is significantly quicker, cheaper, cleaner, more energy efficient and produces high quality welds with excellent fatigue properties.

Innovative Ebflow Technique is 25 x Faster and Uses 90% Less Energy

The type of electron beam welding technology used – called EbflowTM – is an innovative development within the electron beam welding industry. Instead of welding inside a costly and size-limiting vacuum chamber, Ebflow uses a local vacuum system that creates and maintains a vacuum around only the seam that is being welded. This technique unleashes the potential to use EB welding on large structures, such as the biggest monopiles, while reducing costs and enhancing productivity. The technology – developed by CVE – has been shown to weld monopiles at least 25 times faster than current methods, whilst using 90% less energy, costing 88% less, and producing 97% less CO2 emissions than SAW methods.

The project required installation of an Ebflow system at Sif’s Maasvlakte 2 facility in Rotterdam to perform several longitudinal welds on 2750 mm length seams on 8m diameter rolled cans with a wall thickness of between 67-85mm. Qualification of the welding machine, weld procedures and operators were witnessed by third party inspectors and the regulatory body, DNV, which subsequently issued a technology qualification for EB welding and non-destructive testing (NDT) of the longitudinal seams produced with the process. The comprehensive performance testing programme proved that Ebflow produces welds with fatigue strength that is at least as good, if not better, than observed in equivalent arc welded joints.

The resulting can was incorporated into a monopile transition piece in January 2023 and is scheduled to be installed offshore as part of a foundation in Dogger Bank Wind Farm in late 2023.

Figure 1. The project team at Sif’s Maasvlakte 2 facility.

First-In-Class Project

Olly Cass, SSE Renewables Project Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm said: 

“This is a ‘first-in-class’ project, establishing this UK innovation as a world-leading technology. With monopile type foundations accounting for over 90% of foundations used in UK projects, Ebflow RPEB could realise significant cost savings on future projects.

“These substantial savings will not only benefit the UK offshore engineering industry but could be passed on to UK energy consumers.

“We’re proud to be pioneering this innovative technique on Dogger Bank Wind Farm by demonstrating its capabilities on a critical offshore component and this would not have been possible without the great collaborative work with Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE), Sif Group, and TWI. We’re excited about what could be achieved by scaling up this method to pick up the pace as we work towards net zero targets.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn. The farm is being built in three 1.2GW phases and is expected to start generating power this summer.

Figure 2. Submerged arc welding vs. Ebflow.


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