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Ignition of arc discharges at high pressures Tait, Robert Niall


This report describes attempts to discover a method for starting a water walled argon arc at high pressure. It is demonstrated that addition of small amounts of acetylene to the argon causes a very small reduction of breakdown voltage at pressures of about 3 atmospheres. Droplets of distilled water and of KC1 solution are shown to effectively increase the breakdown potential of a gas. A calculation of static fields before arc ignition is presented, and alternative starting circuit tests are done. Parallel starting pulse injection is found inferior to the normally used series injection. An auxiliary discharge is found to aid starting slightly, and a drastic decrease in the breakdown potential due to removal of the water wall is discovered.

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