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   Surface modification has turned into an independent branch of science and engineering, which underlines the importance of investigating the surface state and processes for its modification. The major aim of surface treatment of metallic materials is to homogenize the chemical and phase composition in the near-surface layer. Even though classified as single-phase ones, the materials frequently contain microscopic inclusions of the secondary phases that are unavoidable non-metallic impurities appearing in the material in the course of its production. This is strongly undesirable, because these inhomogeneities give rise to corrosion when it comes to operation of tools made from them under aggressive environments, or cause breakdown when the latter are used as components of high-voltage electro-vacuum devices.

   An irradiation of materials by intense pulsed electron beam on the RITM machine causes melting of a thin surface layer, followed by partial evaporation and dissolution of the inclusions present in the heating area. Surface layer homogenization occurs as a result of removal of the secondary-phase precipitates. In addition, the surface tension forces smooth the surface, thus decreasing its roughness. The figure below depicts the process diagram.