Anode spots of low current gliding arc plasmatron

Böddeker, S. and Bracht, V. and Hermanns, P. and Gröger, S. and Kogelheide, F. and Bibinov, N. and Awakowicz, P.

Volume: 29 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/aba6a4
Published: 2020

In this work a gliding arc plasmatron consisting of a filamentary discharge rotating in a nitrogen vortex flow at low DC current (I = 100 mA) is investigated. The gas flow swirl of the plasmatron is produced by six tangential gas inlets. The Reynolds number of the nitrogen flow through these tubes at the flow rate of Q = 10 slm amounts to about 2400, which is in the intermediate range. Under these conditions, the formation of micro-vortices can be caused by small gas flow disturbances like e.g. a tube edge. The operation of the GA plasmatron at these conditions is accompanied by the production of plasma spots at the anode surface, namely near the gas inlets. Melted and solidified metal is found in erosion traces left by plasma spots at the anode surface. It is established that melting of stainless steel cannot be caused by an axial current of I = 100 mA of plasma spots and an helical current is supposed. This assumption is confirmed by microscope images of eroded traces with toroidal melting areas. These experimental results corroborate a hypothesis of previous studies, concerning the gliding arc physics, about the formation of plasma objects with an axial magnetic field by the interaction of micro-vortices with the plasma channel. © 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.

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