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Investigations on the Motion of High-Current Vacuum-Arc Cathode Spots Under a Magnetic Field

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5 Author(s)
Shenli Jia ; State Key Lab. of Electr. Insulation & Power Equip., Xi''an Jiaotong Univ., Xi''an, China ; Xiaochuan Song ; Zongqian Shi ; Lijun Wang
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Much research has been done on the motion of low-current vacuum-arc cathode spots (CSs). The relationship between the motion velocity of CSs and the magnetic field, particularly the relationship between the direction of CS motion and the ratio of Bz/Bt, has been revealed. However, little investigation on the motion of CSs in high-current vacuum arcs has been conducted before. In this paper, the motion of CSs of high-current vacuum arcs under different axial magnetic fields was experimentally investigated. Simultaneously, calculation of the motion of CSs based on the empirical formula has been done, and comparison with experiments and analysis were given. Experiments were conducted in a detachable vacuum chamber with an arc current of 10 kA (root mean square). Images of CSs were photographed with a high-speed digital camera with an exposure time of 2 μs. With computer-aided numerical processing, the spatial distribution of the CSs was obtained, based on which the magnitude and direction of the CS motion velocity were calculated, and the CS motion trajectories around the current peak were plotted. Results indicated that the properties of the CS motion in high-current vacuum arcs are similar to those in low-current vacuum arcs.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 6 )