Wide ranges of technological applications involve arc plasma devices as the primary plasma source for processing work. Recent findings exhibit the existence of appreciable thermal non-equilibrium in these so-called thermal plasma devices. Commercially available magnetohydrodynamic codes are not capable of handling such systems due to unavailability of non-equilibrium thermodynamic and transport property data and self-consistent models. A recipe for obtaining mechanical design of arc plasma devices from numerical simulation incorporating two-temperature thermal non-equilibrium model is presented in this article with reference to the plasma of the mixture of molecular gases like nitrogen and oxygen. Such systems are technologically important as they correspond to the plasma devices operating with air, oxygen plasma torches in cutting industries and plasma devices using nitrogen as shielding gas. Temperature field, associated fluid dynamics and electrical characteristics of a plasma torch are computed in a systematic manner to evaluate the performance of a conceived design using a two-fluid CFD model coupled with a two-temperature thermodynamic and transport property code. Important effects of different nozzle designs and plasma gases obtained from the formalism are discussed. Non-equilibrium thermo-dynamic properties are computed using modified two-temperature Saha equations and transport properties are computed using standard Chapman–Enskog approach.
Volume 93 | Issue 6
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