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Progress in Plasma Processing of Materials, 1999

1-56700-126-2 (Print)


M. Leylavergne
L.M.C.T.S. - ESA CNRS 6015 - Equipe Plasma, Laser, Materiaux 123, avo Albert Thomas - 87060 Limoges CEDEX - France

Z. Duan
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering - University of Minnesota Minneapolis - MN 55455 - USA

J. F. Coudert
Laboratoire Sciences des Procédés Céramiques et Traitements de Surface, UMR-CNRS 6638, Université de Limoges, 87060 Limoges Cedex, France

Pierre Fauchais
Laboratoire Sciences des Procedes Ceramiques et de Traitements de Surface UMR CNRS 6638 University of Limoges 123 avenue Albert Thomas, 87060 LIMOGES - France

Joachim V. Heberlein
Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Minnesota 111 Church Street S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA and Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan


Arc voltage fluctuations in D.C. plasma spray torches result from the movement of the arc attachment inside the anode nozzle. These fluctuations express the variation of the arc length and the power dissipation and strongly influence torch performance and coating quality.
In this study, two torches with swirl or straight injection of the plasma gas have been investigated. To characterize the arc instability, voltage fluctuations and acoustic emissions from the plasma jet have been recorded and analyzed on line using a workstation operating with LabView environment. The length and the stability of the jet have been quantified in terms of jet centreline deviation from the torch axis (JetRMS) using a video system. Different arc currents, nozzle diameters, Ar/H2 plasma gas flow rates have been examined.
A good correlation has been found between the frequency of the voltage and acoustic signals. This study has allowed to compare the dominant values of the frequencies according to the type of plasma gas injection and the different operating parameters. Thus an arc current and plasma gas flow rate increase and a nozzle diameter decrease lead to an higher restrike mode frequencies.