Role of Secondary Ions on the i-v Characteristics of Oxyfuel Flame Subject to an Electric Field


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Recent use of ion currents as a sensing strategy in the mechanized oxyfuel cutting process motivated a series of studies which revealed that the steel work piece contributes secondary ions in addition to the primary ions classically identified in the oxyfuel flame. In this work, we present a computational model that has linked carbon-related chemi-ions as a source of secondary ions in preheating stage of oxyfuel cutting process subject to electric bias voltages. The flames' response to the electric field at different positive and negative polarities manifested a better understanding of the physical behavior of current-voltage (i-v) relationship. While copper surface exhibits stable and repeatable i-v characteristics, sporadically enhanced current was observed in positive saturation regime for steel surface, and this is believed to be due to the presence of secondary chemi-ions. To this extent, a source term of gaseous carbon has been assigned to mimic the 'work surface' reactions. The hypothesis is that since carbon is an important element, it will be diffusing out of the steel surface and evaporate into the flame.



oxyfuel flame, electric field, CFD, carbon, secondary ions, i-v characteristics