Picture of the RainTec strategy in the running process. - © pro-beam

pro-beam Introduces Initial Copper Results Using EBM

Additive manufacturing within a powder bed: pro-beam introduces initial copper results using EBM

pro-beam, a world-leading provider of high-tech processes using an electron beam, enables the processing of copper in its additive Electron Beam Melting process (EBM). Thus, the Munich company is expanding its material portfolio, unlocking new opportunities to produce complex, customized components. pro-beam will present its initial results in November in Frankfurt am Main at Formnext 2023, the world's leading expo for additive manufacturing.

The pro-beam group has 50 years of experience in the field of electron beam technology and has been active in the field of additive manufacturing since 2020. Amongst others, the company has made its mark with the electron beam melting process (EBM) and the associated system, the PB EBM 30S.

Along with components made from titanium, pro-beam has now, for the first time, produced copper parts using its EBM process. For this material, the company also relies on its specially developed spot strategy RainTec. Using RainTec, individual spots are melted in a stochastically distributed manner, so that the entire/desired surface is only created in the late phase of the melting process. This process ensures a controlled heat input that is adapted to the requirements, which prevents warping while achieving homogeneous material properties. In addition, the spot exposure strategy has accelerated the parameter development for this new material considerably. A stable process window could be identified after just a few attempts, and the first samples as well as components could be produced during the subsequent process. “We are very happy with our first development steps. We have already been able to achieve promising results that we will present at Formnext,” says Dr. Thorsten Löwer, Managing Director of the pro-beam Group.

Heat exchanger produced with EBM. - © pro-beam
Heat exchanger produced with EBM. © pro-beam
Copper and an electron beam – a perfect combination

Due to its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, copper is a very versatile material. With the integration of copper into its EBM process, pro-beam is able to offer its customers a number of advantages and application options:

Copper is extremely well suited to manufacturing components such as heat sinks for which efficient heat dissipation is crucial. The high electrical conductivity of the material also makes it ideal for applications in the electrical and energy industries, including circuit boards and power supply components. However, copper exhibits high light reflection, which poses challenges during processing, especially with light optical systems. When using an electron beam, there is no reflection, ensuring good process stability. Additionally, 100 percent of the energy input can be utilized. Thanks to this high efficiency and the vacuum environment, the EBM process allows for the production of particularly dense and high-quality components.

The very stable process of the pro-beam systems contributes to excellent surface quality, among other things. Another advantage of the PB EBM 30S is the system's parallelization concept, which significantly increases productivity compared to other manufacturers. Thanks to this overall approach, pro-beam enables the additive manufacturing of highly complex geometries and customized parts that meet the requirements of the industry, both for flexible and series production of metal components.

The PB EBM 30S for powder bed-based production of small, highly detailed components. - © pro-beam
The PB EBM 30S for powder bed-based production of small, highly detailed components. © pro-beam

The pro-beam Group is striving to expand the boundaries of additive manufacturing technology and offer its customers innovative solutions. The introduction of copper into the EBM process opens up new opportunities for the manufacturing of high-quality components in various industries, e.g. electromobility, aerospace and energy technology.

pro-beam will provide more information and present the first copper exhibits at Formnext 2023 in Frankfurt am Main from November 7-10, 2023. The company is looking forward to welcoming visitors in hall 12.0 at booth E101.

(Source: Press Release of pro-beam GmbH & Co. KGaA)


Additive ManufacturingCopperElectron Beam Melting ProcessElectron Beam WeldingPowder Bed Fusion

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