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Electron Beam Welding

Deep weld process technology provides customers more options for complex precision assemblies. Electron beam welding capability is used wherever high strength bonding of metal components is required, such as orthopedics and aerospace applications. All welds are created in a vacuum chamber for ultra-low contamination and electron beams can be aimed with exceptional accuracy to weld even the smallest medical device components — with extremely high precision and strength that can be comparable to that of a monolithic unit.

Electron beam welding — which originated from applications in the aerospace industry — penetrates deep into a metal unlike typical surface welding (e.g., Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), also known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, or Laser Beam Welding (LBW)). It is a unique process whereby metal components are bonded via high velocity electrons which travel throughout the mating area, deep into the parts. The beam can be aimed into a blind hole or below the surface of mating components. This is particularly beneficial for orthopedic devices as electron beam welding offers high depth-to-width ratios. Welds can go deep and only affect a narrow sliver of the surface, protecting surrounding materials from heat exposure. This means, for example, that a plastic handle can be assembled or over- molded prior to welding, reducing assembly time and potentially lowering the overall cost of the device.

The benefits of electron beam welding include:

  • Low heat affected zone, limiting impact on surrounding materials such as plastics
  • High strength
  • Low contamination
  • Superior depth of penetration/ high width-to-depth ratio
  • Can be used in complex assemblies to secure multiple components with a subsurface weld.

PEP is one of very few companies that can offer in-house electron beam welding capabilities along with a full range of medical device manufacturing services. Electron beam welding drastically expands where welds can be created and the strength and quality of those welds. Its precise, high strength nature is well-suited for durable biocompatible metal instruments that are used in challenging intraoperative environments. PEP offers fully- CNC or manual electron beam manufacturing for delicate parts.