Mathematical Modeling of Heat Flux Distribution of Plasma Arc by Transverse Alternating Magnetic Field

Jianbing Meng*, Xiaojuan Dong
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Precision Manufacturing and Non-Traditional Machining, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo 255049, China

© 2010 Meng and Dong

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Mechanical Engineering, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo 255049, China; Tel: +86-533-2786909; E-mails:,


A theoretical analysis was carried out to investigate the characteristics of plasma arc injected transverse to a transverse-alternating magnetic field. Two mathematical models were developed to describe both the oscillating amplitude of the plasma arc root and the heat flux density distribution of plasma arc on the workpiece surface. The characteristic of plasma arc under the external transverse-alternating magnetic field imposed perpendicular to the plasma current was discussed. The effect of process parameters, such as working gas flux, arc current, magnetic flux density and the standoff from the nozzle to the workpiece, on the oscillation and heat flux distribution of plasma arc were also analyzed. The analytical results show that it is feasible to adjust the shape and heat flux density of the plasma arc by the transverse- alternating magnetic field, which expands the region of plasma arc thermal treatment and uniforms the heat flux density upon the workpiece. Furthermore, the oscillating amplitude of plasma arc decreases, and the heat flux density gradient upon the workpiece increases with decrease of the magnetic flux density. Under the same magnetic flux density, more gas flux, more arc current, and less standoff cause the oscillating amplitude to decrease.

Keywords: Plasma arc, transverse magnetic field, heat flux, mathematical modeling.