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Research Papers

Measurement and Analysis of Plasma Arc Components

[+] Author and Article Information
S. J. Chen

College of Mechanical Engineering
and Applied Electronics Technology,
Beijing University of Technology,
Beijing 100124, China
e-mail: sjchen@bjut.edu.cn

F. Jiang, J. L. Zhang

College of Mechanical Engineering
and Applied Electronics Technology,
Beijing University of Technology,
Beijing 100124, China

Y. M. Zhang

Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering,
Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing,
University of Kentucky,
Lexington, KY 40506

P. J. Shun

Beijing Computer Center,
Beijing 100094, China

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 31, 2013; final manuscript received September 25, 2014; published online November 26, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Wei Li.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 137(1), 011006 (Feb 01, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-13-1299; doi: 10.1115/1.4028689 History: Received July 31, 2013; Revised September 25, 2014; Online November 26, 2014

To better understand keyhole plasma arc (PA) and help improve the process, the authors recently observed that the electron flow may deviate from its ionized arc plasma which is electrically neutral. This phenomenon has been referred to as the arc separability which provides a better way to understand the arc fundamentally. Hence, in this study the authors designed an innovative experimental system to measure/record the heat and pressure from the separated arc components—arc plasma and electron flow. An algorithm was proposed to calculate/derive the distribution of the pressure from its bulk measurements that are easy to obtain accurately. Experiments were conducted to study the effects of welding parameters on the heat and pressure in the arc components. It is found that for the constrained PA, the heat applied into the work-piece through the arc plasma exceeds that from the electron flow and this dominance increases as the current increases. However, for the heat from the electron flow, the constraint on the arc does not change it significantly as can be seen from the comparison with that in free gas tungsten arc (GTA). For the pressure in PA, the arc plasma plays the dominant role in determining its amplitude, while the electron flow only primarily contributes to the distribution.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup: (a) schematic and (b) system

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Fig. 2

Heat measurement schematic

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Fig. 3

Circular segment calculation

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Fig. 4

The area of Ai,j and Ai−1,n − Ai,n

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Fig. 5

Comparison of arc symmetry between standstill and moving arc. (a) standstill and (b) moving at 0.1 mm/s.

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Fig. 6

Heat measurement process

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Fig. 7

Pressure measurement process. (a) Starting, (b) crossing, and (c) ending.

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Fig. 8

Cooling water temperature elevations at different currents in experiment 1. Constrained PA, plasma gas flow rate: 3.0 l/min, arc length: 6 mm.

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Fig. 9

Cooling water temperature elevations at different plasma gas flow rates in experiment 2. Constrained PA, welding current: 100 A, arc length: 6 mm

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Fig. 10

Cooling water temperature elevations at different arc length in experiment 3. Constrained PA, welding current: 100 A, plasma gas flow rate: 3.0 l/min.

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Fig. 11

Divergence of constrained arc at different arc lengths. (a) 4 mm, (b) 6 mm, and (c) 8 mm.

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Fig. 12

Comparison between experiments 1 and 6, plasma gas flow rate: 3.0 l/min, arc length: 6 mm

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Fig. 13

Comparison between experiments 4 and 5, plasma gas flow rate: 3.0 l/min, arc length: 6 mm

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Fig. 14

Arc pressure distributions under different currents. Data experiments: # 7 and 8, plasma gas flow rate: 3.0 l/min, arc length: 4 mm. (a) 80 A, (b) 100 A, and (c) 120 A.

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Fig. 15

Arc pressure distributions under different plasma gas flow rates. Data experiments: #9 and 10, current: 100 A, arc length: 4 mm. (a) 2.5 l/min, (b) 3.0 l/min, and (c) 3.5 l/min.

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Fig. 16

Experiments 11 and 12 with different arc length, current: 100 A, plasma gas flow rate: 3.0 l/min. (a) 4 mm, (b) 6 mm, and 8 mm.

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