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Summary form only given. The report deals with the foundations of a new technology for surface modification of metallic materials based on the use of original sources of low-energy, high-current electron beams. The sources contain an electron gun with an explosive-emission cathode and a plasma anode, placed in a guide magnetic field. The acceleration gap and the transportation channel are prefilled with plasma with the use of spark plasma sources or a low-pressure reflected discharge. The electron-beam sources produce electron beams with the parameters as follows: the electron energy 10-40 keV; the pulse duration 0.5-5 microseconds; the energy density 0.5-40 J/cm/spl and/2, and the beam cross-section area 10-50 cm/spl and/2. They are simple, reliable in operation, and radiation safe.