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Aspects of energy transport in a vortex stabilized arc Pearson, John Beverly


Vortex stabilized argon arcs are of interest as sources of high intensity light. Previous workers in the field have found that the heat transported to the wall of the arc vessel greatly exceeded that predicted by theory. Two modifications to the theory have been proposed to account for the observed values of heat transport. This thesis describes a specialized arc vessel which has been constructed to allow the measurement of the axial profile of heat transported to the wall. The axial profile of radiation produced by the arc has also been measured. These experiments elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the large values of heat transported to the wall. In this work a 225 A d.c. arc was used. It was stabilized by an argon vortex at a pressure of 5.5 atm. It is found that the electrode regions of the arc contribute significantly to the total heat transported to the wall. Midway between the electrodes however, the profile is found to be quite flat. The experiments also indicate that some heat is transported upstream from the arc, and it has been shown that this is due to a reverse axial flow core in the gas vortex. The measured profile of radiation produced by the arc is found to be very uniform in the arc column. In the region midway between the electrodes the dependence of the radiation and heat transported to the wall on the gas flow rate in the vortex were examined. The measured radiation is found to be 30-35% less than predicted by theory. It is shown that this may be due to the axial transport of energy in the arc. The scaling of the amount of heat transported to the wall is found to be in good agreement with the predictions of a model for the arc which includes turbulent heat transport by using a mixing length model. The d.c. power supply used in this work produces a waveform with considerable ripple. Time dependent measurements were therefore made of the radiation produced by the arc and the electrical power input to the arc column. These results are compared with a time dependent theory of the arc column.

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