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Progress in Plasma Processing of Materials, 1999

1-56700-126-2 (Print)


Philip G. Rutberg
Institute of Problems of Electrophysics of Russian Academy of Sciences 191186, Russia, St. Petersburg, Dvortsovaya nab. 18

A. A. Safronov
Institute for Electrophysics and Electric Power RAS (IEE RAS), Saint-Petersburg, Russia

V. N. Shiryaev
Institute of Problems of Electrophysics of RAN (IPE RAS)

V. E. Kuznetsov
Institute for Electrophysics and Electric Power RAS (IEE RAS), Russia


Different constructions of AC plasma generators intended for operation on air, nitrogen, and inert gases, the physics of the discharge in electric arc chambers and the fields of application of such plasma generators are described.
Plasma generators of EDP type (power 50−2,000 kW), plasma generators with rod electrodes for heating of inert gases, nitrogen and hydrogen and plasma generators of PT type (power 100−500 kW) are examined. The work of the plasma generator is based on the principle of electrodynamic arcs movement in their own current field (rail gun effect). Quick movement of the arcs attachment along the electrode distributes the heat load along the electrode's length. This allows to use electrodes made of relatively fusible material with good heat conductivity and water- cooling (thin-walled copper tubes).
AC current use allows to create not very expensive, compact power supply systems which are on an order cheaper than analogue systems of the same power.
Plasma generators of such types can be used in the field of treatment of different wastes including toxic ones (plasma chemistry, metallurgy and power industry) due to their high reliability and simplicity in operation.