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Title: Thermal analysis of energy beam using de-laval nozzle in plasma figuring process
Author: Yu, Nan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 7761
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2016
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In 2012, plasma figuring was proven to be an alternative solution for the fabrication of large scale ultra-precise optical surfaces. Indeed, plasma figuring was successfully demonstrated on a metre class glass surface. The process was exceptionally rapid but residual errors were observed. This thesis addresses this issue by proposing an enhanced tool that provides a highly collimated plasma jet. The enhanced tool is characterized by a targeted material removal footprint in the range 1 to 5 mm FWHM. The energy beam is provided by an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) torch equipped with a De-Laval nozzle. This thesis focuses on characterization and optimisation of the bespoke plasma torch and its plasma jet. Two research investigations were carried out using both numerical and experimental approaches. A novel CFD model was created to analyse and understand the behaviour of high temperature gas in the De-Laval nozzle. The numerical approach, that was based on appropriate profiles of temperature and velocity applied to the nozzle inlet, led to a significant reduction of computational resources. This model enabled to investigate the aerodynamic phenomena observed from the nozzle inlet up to the processed surface. Design rules and the effect of changing nozzle parameters were identified. Sensitivity analysis highlighted that the throat diameter is the most critical parameter. A challenging power dissipation analysis of the plasma torch was carried out. Temperature and flow rate in key components of the torch were measured. Experimental results enabled to calculate the power dissipation values for RF power up to 800 W and for the entire series of designed nozzles. This work enabled to scientifically understand the power dissipation mechanism in the bespoke ICP torches. In addition, by comparing the intensity of the power dissipation values, one nozzle was clearly identified as being more capable to provide a highly efficient plasma jet.
Supervisor: Jourdain, Renaud ; Gourma, Mustapha ; Shore, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Plasma figuring ; plasma jet ; ICP torch ; De-Laval nozzle ; power dissipation