High power electron gun for metal additive manufacturing based on superconducting technology


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E-beam additive manufacturing is a rapidly growing industry. Electron guns capable of reaching higher energies and higher average power can enable larger melt pools, higher production speed, and permit broader range of materials for metal additive applications. Such electron guns require technologies beyond those normally achieved with DC high voltage sources. As an example, superconducting radio frequency (SRF) technology is an option to achieve higher energy and higher power with excellent efficiency. However, current SRF technology requires complex cryogenic systems to safely handle cryogenics gases or liquids such as Helium. Such complexity severely restricts their usage to R&D facilities. In this talk, we introduce and describe, for the first time, a novel technique based on SRF technology to build a high power, high energy electron gun for advanced metal additive manufacturing applications. Our design is based on a technique which eliminates liquid Helium entirely. Our method dramatically reduces the complexity and thus allows building practical, efficient, and modern electron sources for additive manufacturing.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 4, Informatics, Electronics and Microsystems: TechConnect Briefs 2018
Published: May 13, 2018
Pages: 83 - 86
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: 3D Printing
ISBN: 978-0-9988782-1-8