Influence of metallic vapours on thermodynamic and transport properties of two-temperature air plasma


The metallic vapours (i.e., copper, iron, and silver in this paper) resulting from walls and/or electrode surfaces can significantly affect the characteristics of air plasma. Different from the previous works assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium, this paper investigates the influence of metallic vapours on two-temperature (2T) air plasma. The 2T compositions of air contaminated by Cu, Fe, and Ag are first determined based on Saha’s and Guldberg–Waage’s laws. The thermodynamic properties (including mass density, specific enthalpy, and specific heat) are then calculated according to their definitions. After determining the collision integrals for each pair of species in air-metal mixtures using the newly published methods and source data, the transport coefficients (including electrical conductivity, viscosity, and thermal conductivity) are calculated for air-Cu, air-Fe, and air-Ag plasmas with different non-equilibrium degree ($T_e/T_h$). The influences of metallic contamination as well as non-equilibrium degree are discussed. It is found that copper, iron, and silver exist mainly in the form of Cu2, FeO, and AgO at low temperatures. Generally, the metallic vapours increase mass density at most temperatures, reduce the specific enthalpy and specific heat in the whole temperature range, and affect the transport properties remarkably from 5000 K to 20 000 K. The effect arising from the type of metals is little except for silver at certain temperatures. Besides, the departure from thermal equilibrium results in the delay of dissociation and ionization reactions, leading to the shift of thermodynamic and transport properties towards a higher temperature.

Physics of Plasmas