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Progress in Plasma Processing of Materials, 1999

ISBN:
1-56700-126-2 (Print)

MODELING OF FLUID, THERMAL AND ELECTRIC QUANTITIES CHARACTERIZING A WATER-SWIRL STABILIZED ELECTRIC ARC

Jiri Jenista
Institute of Plasma Physics ASCR, Za Slovankou 3, 182 21 Prague

Abstract

A two-dimensional numerical model for an electric arc stabilized by water vortex has been proposed. The axisymmetric model includes the area between the cathode and the output nozzle of the arc. The production of water plasma, i.e. the rate of evaporation of a water wall is determined from radial conduction and radiation heat fluxes near the phase transition water-water-vapours. The computer results refer to thermal, fluid dynamic, and electrical characteristics of such arcs for the range of currents 300-600 A. The influence of non-uniform evaporation rate on the outlet discharge parameters is studied. It is found that the part of the power spent for evaporation is around 2 % of the total input power. The calculated velocities, pressure drops and electrical potentials are in good agreement with experiments carried out on the water plasma torch PAL-160 operating at the Institute.