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Conformal plasma cathode for surface hardening of metals

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2 Author(s)
Dougal, R.A. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., South Carolina Univ., Columbia, SC, USA ; Liu, Shengyi

A broad-area impulse electron beam of 105-106 electron volt energy and 100-1000 A/cm2 current density can almost instantaneously heat treat carbon steel surfaces to achieve high hardness. The characteristics of a plasma cathode that forms such an electron beam conformally with the surface of the treated object are described. Forming such a plasma cathode requires that the voltage drop across the anode sheath dominates over the voltage drop across the cathode sheath. High-density cathode emission and a ratio of cathode surface area to workpiece surface area of at least 10 are necessary to drive the anode sheath to assume such a dominant role. A fully ionized plasma of density near 1012-10 14/cm3 is required

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 1 )