Description: This paper describes arc discharge tests conducted in a prepressurized, constant-volume pressure vessel to study arc behavior over a wide range of current densities, discharge durations and initial vessel pressures. This method allows controlled access to a wider range of conditions than those previously studied in capillary tests. We have investigated aspects of the radiative heat transfer by calculating the material opacity and mean free paths of photons for conditions typical of arc diagnostics. We also performed one-dimensional Eulerian hydrodynamic calculations of the boundary layer behavior in the radiative diffusion approximation. These calculations, which describe the radial mass flow and heat transfer in the absence of turbulent flow effects, show the characteristic times for equilibrium of the high-pressure arc. Finally, we describe progress on a promising means for increasing the mass flux from the capillary discharge through the use of chemically reactive media on the capillary walls. 20 refs., 7 figs.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Benson, D.A. & Cahill, P.A.
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