Specialist manufacturer Cambridge Electron Beam Ltd: Winners of Sodi-Tech’s Christmas hamper competition. This hamper contained all the ingredients for a sensational new year celebration, including selection of wines, Christmas crackers, sweet and savoury items!
Cambridge Electron beam was originally established in 1974 as a welding subcontractor specialising in electron beam technology, but diversification into the manufacture of heaters for MOCVD machines has proved to be very successful for the business.
Many of the components for MOCVD heaters demand the generation of complex forms in exotic materials such as molybdenum and tungsten. Such materials normally prove challenging for conventional metalcutting operations, hence the successful application of EDM technology is vital to the ongoing success of Cambridge Electron Beam.
“Because the heaters in MOCVD machines experience temperatures of around 1,700°C, molybdenum is the most commonly specified material, although some tungsten is used on smaller components,” says Mr Burns. “The abrasive nature of molybdenum means that machining using conventional metalcutting technologies is problematic, with EDM offering a far easier and more cost-effective manufacturing method.”
Operating five Sodick wire EDMs, the company has the capacity to produce molybdenum heater parts such as annular rings above 650mm in diameter using their Sodick AQ900L machine tool.
Demand is growing as the applications for MOCVD continue to broaden. According to Mr Burns, the optoelectronic properties of GaN- described by some as the most important material since silicon – can produce the white light needed for LEDs anticipated to completely replace domestic lighting bulbs.