Three-Dimensional Modeling of the Plasma Arc in Arc Welding

Gu Xu, Missouri University of Science and Technology
J. Hu
Hai-Lung Tsai, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Most previous three-dimensional modeling on gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) and gas metal arc welding (GMAW) focuses on the weld pool dynamics and assumes the two-dimensional axisymmetric Gaussian distributions for plasma arc pressure and heat flux. In this article, a three-dimensional plasma arc model is developed, and the distributions of velocity, pressure, temperature, current density, and magnetic field of the plasma arc are calculated by solving the conservation equations of mass, momentum, and energy, as well as part of the Maxwell's equations. This three-dimensional model can be used to study the nonaxisymmetric plasma arc caused by external perturbations such as an external magnetic field. It also provides more accurate boundary conditions when modeling the weld pool dynamics. The present work lays a foundation for true three-dimensional comprehensive modeling of GTAW and GMAW including the plasma arc, weld pool, and/or electrode.