A computational study of a segmented electrothermal plasma source

A. L. Winfrey, M. A. Bourham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The electrothermal segmented plasma source 'ETSPS' is a new concept in which the ablation of source capillary segments makes a mixed material plasma. In most ablation controlled capillary discharges, the inner ablating sleeve is usually made of an insulator with almost no use of metals, alloys, or semiconductors as most of the studies were devoted to the generation of high enthalpy plasma flows for launch technology using polyethylene or Lexan as the liner material. The ETFLOW code has been modified to include a materials library module for metals and alloys, structured amorphous metals, ceramics, and polymers. It has also been modified to allow for segmentation of the source with a different material in each segment to generate micro particles from the ablation of the segments, and the mixture of all of the ablated mass forms the final plasma at the source exit. The ETFLOW code is used to study the nature and composition of the plasma produced in the ETSPS to establish direction to experiment design. A set of computational experiments were conducted with a combination of silicon and graphite (carbon) to study the mixing ratios for SiC synthesis. Another set using molybdenum, sulfur and titanium segments was conducted to explore synthesis of MoSTi as a lubricant coating. The case study with SiC has shown that 7 carbon and 4 silicon segments can provide the desired ration for SiC synthesis (70% Si, 30%C). Another case study with 3 segments of molybdenum, 4 sulfur and 4 titanium segments has shown a plasma mixture of 57.00% sulfur, 27.62% molybdenum and 15.38% titanium, which provides the desired ratio of sulfur/molybdenum for MoSTi composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 19th IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2013
StatePublished - 2013
Event2013 19th IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2013 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 16 2013Jun 21 2013

Publication series

NameDigest of Technical Papers-IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference


Conference2013 19th IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A computational study of a segmented electrothermal plasma source'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this