Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 779–796 | Cite as

High Speed Video Camera and Electrical Signal Analyses of Arcs Behavior in a 3-Phase AC Arc Plasma Torch

  • Christophe Rehmet
  • Frederic Fabry
  • Vandad Rohani
  • François Cauneau
  • Laurent Fulcheri
Original Paper


A 3-phase AC plasma torch has been developed and aims at overcoming some limits of the classical DC torches in terms of efficiency, cost and reliability. However, the arc behavior in 3-phase plasma torch remains poorly explored. This paper is dedicated to the high speed video camera at 100,000 frames per second and electrical signal analyses of arcs behavior in a 3-phase AC arc plasma torch. First, a reference case at 150 A, in nitrogen as working gas, has been deeply analyzed. Afterwards, a parametric study based on current and inter-electrode gap has been carried out. Results show that only one arc can exist at a given time and arcs rotate by switching from a pair of electrodes to another one, following the maximal electrical gap potential. However, a particular “abnormal” arc behavior was sometimes observed. Indeed, the arc motion within the inter-electrode gap increases the heat exchange and stabilizes the 3-phase discharge whereas the system is unbalanced when the arc is in the periphery. The analysis highlights that the arc motion is strongly influenced by the electrode jet velocity and repulsive Lorentz forces. The parametric study shows that the current increases both jet velocity and arc discharge stability. Elsewhere, the increase of the inter-electrode gap can also stabilizes the electrical 3-phase arc discharge. Furthermore, the correlation between arc motion and current waveform is highlighted. This work is likely to open the way toward a better understanding of 3-phase discharges in the perspective of their further optimization.


High speed video camera Arc motion 3-Phase AC plasma torch Electric arc 



The authors are grateful to ‘Region Provence et Alpes Côte d’Azur’ for the PhD financial support and Sabri Takali for its technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Rehmet
    • 1
  • Frederic Fabry
    • 1
  • Vandad Rohani
    • 1
  • François Cauneau
    • 1
  • Laurent Fulcheri
    • 1
  1. 1.PERSEE, Centre Procédés, Energies Renouvelables et Systèmes EnergétiquesMINES ParisTechSophia Antipolis CedexFrance

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