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Electron beam hardening (EBH), with some special characteristics in comparison to other heat treatment technologies, allows beam deflection frequencies of up to 100 kHz. This article illustrates the principles of different thermal electron beam technologies, including beam-deflection, continuous EB interaction, EB flash, as well as multifield EB-deflection and multiprocess techniques. It characterizes the technical and technological possibilities for EBH in comparison to other surface-layer hardening processes. The article also discusses the technical design of electron beam facilities and the applications of EBH.

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