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Space-Resolved Modeling of Stationary Spots on Copper Vacuum Arc Cathodes and on Composite CuCr Cathodes With Large Grains

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6 Author(s)
Benilov, M.S. ; Departamento de Física, CCCEE, Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal ; Cunha, M.D. ; Hartmann, W. ; Kosse, S.
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A self-consistent space-resolved numerical model of cathode spots in vacuum arcs is realized on the computational platform COMSOL Multiphysics. The model is applied to the investigation of stationary spots on planar cathodes made of copper or composite CuCr material with large $({gtrsim}{rm 20}~mu{rm m})$ chromium grains. The modeling results reveal a well defined spot with a structure, which is in agreement with the general theory of stationary cathode arc spots and similar to that of spots on cathodes of arcs in ambient gas. In the case of CuCr contacts with large chromium grains, spots with currents of the order of tens of amperes on copper coexist with spots on chromium with currents of the order of one or few amperes. The main effect of change of the cathode material from copper to chromium is a reduction of thermal conductivity of the cathode material, which causes a reduction of the radius of the spot and a corresponding reduction of the spot current.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 8 )