Two-dimensional numerical modeling of direct-current electric arcs in nonequilibrium

J. Park, J. Heberlein, E. Pfender, G. Candler, C. H. Chang

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48 Scopus citations


A numerical model has been developed to analyze arc-anode attachment in direct-current electric arcs. The developed model fully couples a plasma flow with electromagnetic fields in a self-consistent manner. Electrons and heavy species are assumed to have different temperatures. Species continuities are taken into account to address the chemical nonequilibrium with the Self-Consistent Effective Binary Diffusion (SCEBD) formulation. Electric and magnetic field equations are determined with a newly developed Ohm's law, an improvement over the conventional generalized Ohm's law. The governing equations are discretized and solved using the Finite Volume Method (FVM) and Gauss-Seidel Line Relaxation (GSLR) method in a two-dimensional domain. The model is applied to a two-dimensional axisymmetric high-intensity argon arc. The results are compared favorably with experimental and other numerical data. A significant electric potential drop has been observed in the vicinity of the anode due to the thermal and chemical nonequilibrium effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-231
Number of pages19
JournalPlasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation through grants CTS-9903950 and CTS-0225962.


  • Arc-anode attachment
  • High-intensity arc
  • Nonequilibrium
  • Nonequilibrium boundary layer
  • Species diffusion


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