Plasma Torch Working Gas Selection Rationale for the Production Technology of Ultrapure White Corundum


This paper presents the results of one of the stages in the development of a plasma technology for producing ultrapure white corundum. This technology involves the melting of alumina in a reactor under the influence of plasma. To create the plasma, a plasma-forming gas is needed; in other words, the plasma torch working gas. To implement this technology, the chosen working gas must meet certain requirements. More precisely: 1) the gas should not form explosive or toxic compounds either with the reactor materials or the material of the electrodes; 2) it should not accelerate their erosion. An important requirement that a plasma torch working gas must have is minimal interaction with surrounding substances, even at high temperatures. This will reduce the likelihood of contamination of the melt with materials of the reactor itself. We consider using hydrogen, nitrogen and argon. Taking into account the requirements for the working gas, we opt for the mixture of nitrogen and argon at a concentration of 25÷30% N2 – 70÷75% Ar.

Keywords: plasma torch, corundum, plasma technology, ultrapure materials

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