Effects of copper vapour on thermophysical properties of CO2-N2 plasma


CO2-N2 mixtures are often used as arc quenching medium (to replace SF6) in circuit breakers and shielding gas in arc welding. In such applications, copper vapour resulting from electrode surfaces can modify characteristics of plasmas. This paper therefore presents an investigation of the effects of copper on thermophysical properties of CO2-N2 plasma. The equilibrium compositions, thermodynamic properties (including mass density, specific enthalpy, and specific heat), transport coefficients (including electrical conductivity, viscosity, and thermal conductivity), and four kinds of combined diffusion coefficients due to composition gradients, applied electric fields, temperature gradients, and pressure gradients respectively, were calculated and discussed for CO2-N2 (mixing ratio 7:3) plasma contaminated by different proportions of copper vapour. The significant influences of copper were observed on all the properties of CO2-N2-Cu mixtures. The better ionization ability and larger molar mass of copper and larger collision integrals related to copper, should be responsible for such influences.

The European Physical Journal D