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Temperature Dependence of Retrograde Velocity of Vacuum Arcs in Magnetic Fields

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Retrograde velocity of vacuum arcs in transverse magnetic fields is known to depend on, among other things, the magnetic induction, the arc current, the electrode spacing, the cathode material, and the cathode surface condition, and was also found to depend on the cathode temperature. Using the optical method, the retrograde velocity was measured as a function of the cathode temperature with copper, aluminum, and stainless steel as cathode materials. The optical measurement shows that by increasing the cathode temperature, the arc velocity decreases. It appears that with the increase in the cathode temperature, the decrease of the arc velocity is related to the increase of the cathode crater radius. The experimentally measured temperature dependence of the retrograde velocity of vacuum arcs can be explained by the ion jet model for retrograde motion of vacuum arcs [10]. The relative decrease of retrograde velocity as a function of the cathode temperature calculated according to this model agrees quantitatively with the reported measurements.

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 1983

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