Electron Beam Welding of Large Aerospace Structures with Portable Vacuum Chambers 630250
A new concept is described that permits the electron beam process to be used for final assembly welding of large production parts. With this concept, 70 ft long production joints are being welded by North American Aviation. Using a relatively small portable vacuum chamber that fits on top of the parts to be welded, just the area around the joint is evacuated. Specially designed seals allow the electron gun, mounted on a lid, to slide along the top of the chamber, making 5 ft long runs at speeds up to 60 in./minute.