The characteristics and structure of high pressure (1-42 bars) gas tungsten arcs
The last decade has seen a considerable growth in the exploitation of deep sea mineral reserves. Accompanying these developments has come the need for suitable underwater repair and uainten-nce techniques. one such technique involves the use of fusion welding processes in localised dry high pressure environments created around weldments. Pressure chambers at Cranfield have been employed to simulate this sitiu. ation. These have been used to investigate the influence of ambient pressure (1 to 45 bars) on gas-tungsten arcs. The study has been of a basic nature with emphasis on arc characteristics and arc structure. Special attention is given to the argon TIG arc although helium TIG arcs and constricted argon-tungsten arcs have also been examined. Arc characteristics are reported in terms of arc appearance and modes, electrical characteristics and weld bead studies. The investigation of arc structure is concerned with gaining an understanding of observed characteristics. This has involved experimental and theoretical developments. Experimental techniques used include, electrostatic probes, calorimetry and the measurement of total power radiated from an arc. Models developed here have successfully explained many of the experimental findings and special emphasis has been directed at understanding gas flow in the column and arc stability. Much of the work included in this thesis has implications for the development of underwater welding procedures. Results presented should also contribute to gaining a better understanding of arcs operating under normal ambient conditions. However, these aspects are not discussed in any detail as the main emphasis has been placed on documenting and explaining the influence of pressure on gas-tungsten arcs.