Plasma Arc Welding Simulation with OpenFOAM

Abstract: A simulation tool that is valid within the field of tandem arc welding(unsteady, three dimensional thermal plasma flow) has been developed,based on the open source CFD package OpenFOAM. The validation of the electromagnetic part of the solver has been done separately using a problem with a known solution. A good agreement between the numerical and analytical solutions was obtained. Different boundary conditions on the magnetic potential vector have been tested. Based on these tests, the appropriate boundary conditions were chosen for the case representing a transferred arc configuration. The complete simulation tool was validated using a tungsten inert gas single arc problem. Two representations of the magnetic field have been tested, based on the electric and magnetic potentials, respectively. Qualitatively, both approaches agreed well with the results found in the literature. However, quantitatively a deviation in the results was observed in the near cathode region.

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