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Selective Cleaning of Metallic Surfaces by Capacitor-Discharged Arcing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000042440D
Original Publication Date: 1984-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Flink, HG: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

A method and apparatus are provided for cleaning a selected portion of the surface of an element, a print wire, for example, without disturbing the metallurgical structure of the element. The cleaning is accomplished by selectively burning oxides and organic materials from the surface of the element. An electrical circuit is also provided for producing an ionized hot gas plasma where the energy level of the plasma and the duration thereof are closely controlled. The circuit for producing the ionized hot gas plasma (Fig. 1) includes an ignition coil or transformer 10 connected to a suitable power supply 11 and with a momentary contact switch 12 connected in the primary circuit to produce a high voltage which creates an arc across primary gap 15.

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Selective Cleaning of Metallic Surfaces by Capacitor-Discharged Arcing

A method and apparatus are provided for cleaning a selected portion of the surface of an element, a print wire, for example, without disturbing the metallurgical structure of the element. The cleaning is accomplished by selectively burning oxides and organic materials from the surface of the element. An electrical circuit is also provided for producing an ionized hot gas plasma where the energy level of the plasma and the duration thereof are closely controlled. The circuit for producing the ionized hot gas plasma (Fig. 1) includes an ignition coil or transformer 10 connected to a suitable power supply 11 and with a momentary contact switch 12 connected in the primary circuit to produce a high voltage which creates an arc across primary gap 15. This arc produces an electrical pulse having a very fast rise time at the junction of the electrical node including inductor L1 and secondary air or arc gap 20. The inductor L1 allows a momentary high voltage across the secondary air gap 20, producing an arc and ionized path. The lower voltage charge stored in capacitor C2 discharges across the ionized secondary gap 20. This lower voltage discharge of capacitor C2 produces an ionized hot gas plasma in the secondary gap 20. The capacitor C2 is charged to a voltage by current flowing through resistor R1 from a DC power supply 25 set to the desired charge voltage. Most of the electrical energy stored in capacitor C2 can be dumped into the ionized gas plasma, producing extremely high temperatures for extremely short times. The heat and the time of the discharge can be closely controlled by adjusting the charge voltage across the capacitor C2, by changing the size of capacitor C2 or by changing the circuit series resistance. The series resistance can be changed by changing the secondary gap length, changing the ionizing gas mixture, magnetically changing the secondary arc length, or by putting a lumped resistor in series with the secondary gap electrodes. The electrodes 50, shown in Figs. 2 and 3, are positioned parallel to each other so that the result...