Numerical simulations of 10 kW and 110 kW inductively coupled plasma (ICP) wind tunnels were carried out to study physical properties of the flow inside the ICP torch and vacuum chamber with air as the working gas. Two-dimensional compressible axisymmetric Navier- Stokes (N-S) equations that took into account 11 species and 49 chemical reactions of air, were solved. A heat source model was used to describe the heating phenomenon instead of solving the electromagnetic equations. In the vacuum chamber, a four-temperature model was coupled with N-S equations. Numerical results for the 10 kW ICP wind tunnel are presented and discussed in detail as a representative case. It was found that the plasma flow in the vacuum chamber tended to be in local thermochemical equilibrium. To study the influence of operation conditions on the flow field, simulations were carried out for different chamber pressures and/or input powers. The computational results for the above two ICP wind tunnels were compared with corresponding experimental data. The computational and experimental results agree well, therefore the flow fields of ICP wind tunnels can be clearly understood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics