Integrated Plasma Torches for Laser-Arc Processes
A highly efficient method for elevation of the arc column plasma temperature is constriction of the arc by restricting the transverse size of its column by the channel wall. This method makes it possible not only to achieve quite easily the formation of arc plasma with the temperature required for the combined discharge to form, but also to control this temperature and, consequently, the absorbing properties of the plasma by changing the arc current, the flow rate, the pressure and the composition of the plasma-forming gas. This wi l l make it possible, by varying the said arc burning conditions, to effectively influence characteristics of the combined discharge plasma and, what is most important, characteristics of the laser beam interacting with it. Therefore, the channel stabilised electric arc used to form the laser-arc discharge, instead of the free-burning arc, wil l widen the range of the combined discharge burning conditions (by the arc current and the laser radiation power) and the possibilities of controlling its characteristics.