Numerical Simulation of Plasma Jet Characteristics under Very Low-Pressure Plasma Spray Conditions


Plasma spray-physical vapor deposition (PS-PVD) is an emerging technology for the deposition of uniform and large area coatings. As the characteristics of plasma jet are difficult to measure in the whole chamber, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations could predict the plasma jet temperature, velocity and pressure fields. However, as PS-PVD is generally operated at pressures below 500 Pa, a question rises about the validity of the CFD predictions that are based on the continuum assumption. This study dealt with CFD simulations for a PS-PVD system operated either with an argon-hydrogen plasma jet at low-power (<50 kW) or with an argon-helium plasma jet at high-power (≥50 kW). The effect of the net arc power and chamber pressure on the plasma jet characteristics and local gradient Knudsen number (Kn) was systematically investigated. The Kn was found to be lower than 0.2, except in the region corresponding to the first expansion shock wave. The peak value in this region decreased rapidly with an increase in the arc net power and the width of this region decreased with an increase in the deposition chamber pressure. Based on the results of the study, the local Knudsen number was introduced for detecting conditions where the continuum approach is valid under PS-PVD conditions for the first time and the CFD simulations could be reasonably used to determine a process parameter window under the conditions of this study.

Funding source: National Basic Research Program (Grant No. 2012CB625104) and joint PhD program of China Scholarship Council. (Grant No. 201506280146).
Related subjects: Safety

Article metrics loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error