Modeling and analysis of a dual channel plasma torch for industrial, space, and launch applications

Alexander Zielinski, Harry Fair, Leigh Winfrey, Shawn Mittal, Mohamed Bourham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Dual-channel thermal plasma torches can operate with air, argon, or combustible gases to produce high temperature plasma flows. This plasma torch can be used in various important applications such as metal industry recycling, surface coating and hardening, space operations using controlled thrust, and macroparticle acceleration based on the electrothermal nature of thermal torches and electrical-to-thermal energy conversion. Power for this torch is supplied from the electric mains and the voltage is stepped up to 6 kV. However, the torch can also operate in DC or in pulsed mode. The electrical operation is characterized by the VoltAmpere relationship to determine the power rating of the torch and diagnose the dynamic behavior of the plasma. Experiments on the torch using air and argon have shown plasma temperatures of 1 eV and 0.5 eV, respectively, with plasma number densities in the range of 1024-1025/m3, indicating a dense plasma regime with the plasma tending to be weakly nonideal. Plasma kinetic temperature and electron number density were obtained from optical emission spectroscopy using the relative line method as the plasma is near local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) condition. The plasma temperature is at a maximum for low flow rates and decreases for increased flow rates. The torch modeling was conducted using an electrothermal plasma code to simulate and predict the parameters for pulsed mode operation. Simulation was conducted on a single channel as the dual torch is symmetric. Code results for extended pulse lengths show a plasma temperature between 0.6 eV and 0.8 eV for nitrogen, oxygen and helium, which are in good correlation with plasma temperatures obtained from optical emission spectra and measured plasma resistivity. A set of computational experiments using short pulses at higher discharge currents have shown temperatures in the range of 2.0-2.5 eV for nitrogen and helium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEML 2014 - 2014 17th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479927333
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2014
Event2014 17th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology, EML 2014 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jul 7 2014Jul 11 2014

Publication series

NameEML 2014 - 2014 17th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology

Conference

Conference2014 17th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology, EML 2014
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period7/7/147/11/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling and analysis of a dual channel plasma torch for industrial, space, and launch applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this