Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Jog, Milind A., Ira M. Cohen and Portonovo S. Ayyaswamy. (1992) Electrode heating in a wire-to-plane arc. Physics of Fluids. Vol. 4(2).

Copyright (1992) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

The following article appeared in Physics of Fluids and may be found at


A steady wire-to-plane electric discharge has been modeled in a prolate spheroidal coordinate system with the wire shape taken as a hyperboloid of revolution. A set of continuum conservation equations for the charged particle densities and temperatures together with Poisson’s equation for the self-consistent electric potential describe the steady electric discharge process. These equations have been solved numerically to obtain ion and electron densities, temperature distribution, and electrode heat fluxes. Particle densities show the main body of the arc is quasineutral bounded by space charge sheaths at both electrodes. The temperature is greatest in a region around the discharge axis about one-third of the distance from the wire to the plane. Strong electric fields are concentrated in the electrode sheaths. The heat flux to the wire is sharply peaked near the tip but on the plane it decays slowly away from the discharge axis. The knowledge of heat transfer from the arc to the electrodes is useful in determining arc parameters that govern the ball formation process used in wire bonding of microelectronic semiconductor chips as well as welding processes.



Date Posted: 17 August 2010

This document has been peer reviewed.