Temperature distribution dependence on refractory anode thickness in a vacuum arc: Theory

Isak I. Beilis, Yosef Koulik, Raymond L. Boxman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anode heating by plasma heat flux in a vacuum arc was modeled. The model included the nonlinear 2-D heat conduction equation with temperature-dependent thermophysical material properties and heat losses by StefanBoltzmann radiation from the anode surfaces. The heat conduction equation was solved numerically for 32-mm-diameter tungsten cylindrical anodes with different anode thicknesses and arc currents. The time-dependent heat flux to the tungsten anode was determined using measured anode temperatures. The time-dependent effective anode voltage Uef was found to decrease from an initial to a steady-state value, e.g., from 11.4 to 7.05 V, for 175 A, anode thickness d=30 mm, and electrode gap h=10 mm. It was shown that Uef increases with d at t = 0 and in the transient period, while at steady state, Uef slightly decreases with d and h.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5741859
Pages (from-to)1307-1310
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number6 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 2011


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation


    • Anode temperature
    • effective voltage
    • heat conduction
    • refractory anode
    • vacuum arc


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