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Experimental Investigation of Anode Activities in High-Current Vacuum Arcs

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6 Author(s)
Dingge Yang ; State Key Lab. of Electr. Insulation & Power Equip., Xi''an Jiaotong Univ., Xi''an, China ; Lijun Wang ; Shenli Jia ; Liuhuo Wang
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It is well known that the melting of electrodes (mainly anode melting) in vacuum arc can increase the metal vapor density around current zero and even lead to interruption failure. In order to clarify the anode activities and their influence on arc appearance and interruption capacity, series experiments of cup-shaped axial magnetic field copper electrodes were conducted. Obvious anode melting was detected; the liquid copper flowed on the contact plate of anode and formed a clockwise swirl flow. The appearance of anode melting is likely to correlate to the transition of arc mode from high-current diffuse mode to high-current diffuse column mode. The melting of anode was severer than cathode and was influenced by the distribution of cathode spots. Various kinds of copper particles at macroscopic level can be seen in arc column. Even at the interruption limit, the majority of melted copper of anode sputtered out of gap in form of liquid droplets or was pressed into the cup of anode, the copper vapor evaporated into arc column only accounted for a few portion and no obvious anode jets was found due to large plasma pressure in arc column.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 2 )