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The theoretical and experimental studies of cathode plasma jets in vacuum arc and the effect of magnetic field on them have been under way for several years. In this paper, different axial magnetic field electrodes were tested in a vacuum chamber, obvious individual cathode plasma jets were observed, and the cathode-jet inclination was also detected. Based on the numerical calculation of magnetic field in interelectrode region and the measurement of cathode-jet inclination in experimental results, it is proven that the inclination angle of composite magnetic field (the combination of the axial, the azimuthal, and the radial components) is consistent with the inclination angle of cathode plasma jets, which indicates that the cathode plasma jets in the arc column flow along the magnetic-field direction when the high-current vacuum arc is diffused or even constricted slightly. Meanwhile, it was also found that plasma jets far from the cathode surface mixed with each other and became ambiguous when the electrode gap increases to a certain distance.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2010