The electron beam (e-Beam) irradiation process uses high-energy electrons for a variety of applications, such as the sterilization of single-use medical devices, contamination control of consumer products, and modification of materials, such as heat shrink tubing, wire and cables and molded parts. Possible uses for electron irradiation include sterilization and cross-linking of polymers.
In the electron beam process, a product is bombarded with high-energy electrons, resulting in a cascade of these electrons moving through the target material.
The e-beam process utilizes high energy electrons as its radiation source. The electrons, which are produced by normal electrical current, are accelerated to near the speed of light by means of an accelerator. The electrons are focused to a scan horn of a defined size and scanned in a sweeping motion, creating a curtain of electrons. The product is then conveyed through the scan curtain at a tightly controlled and measured speed.
The process itself takes place behind a radiation shield, typically a large concrete structure, which prevents radiation from leaving the cell. As scanning occurs, the accelerated electrons inactivate any viable microorganisms.
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