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Manuscript Title: The computation of steady state arcs with mild nozzle-wall ablation.
Authors: D.B. Newland, M.T.C. Fang
Program title: ARCABL
Catalogue identifier: ACEC_v1_0
Distribution format: gz
Journal reference: Comput. Phys. Commun. 28(1983)299
Programming language: Fortran.
Computer: IBM 4341.
Operating system: CONVERSATIONAL MONITOR SYSTEM, VM/370.
RAM: 27K words
Word size: 32
Keywords: Plasma physics, Electric arcs, Wall-ablation, Discharge.
Classification: 19.5.

Nature of problem:
The intense radiative flux from an electric arc burning in a convergent-divergent nozzle provides a mechanism by which nozzle wall ablation may occur. The code described below finds the super-critical solution for the system. The external flow is assumed to be one dimensional and isentropic.

Solution method:
The three first-order ordinary differential equations describing the arc, its external flow and the ablation layer are solved using a modified form of the patching method of Fang et al. For a given set of user-specified operating conditions (e.g. current level, nozzle wall material, quenching gas, etc.) the ratio of the arc displacement area to nozzle area and that of the ablation displacement area to nozzle area (i.e. Beta c and Beta ad,c) are guessed at the critical point. These are used to compute the position of the critical point Zeta c, and the values of the Mach number at Zeta c and at the nozzle entrance. Once these are known the governing differential equations can be integrated forward from the electrode tip and backward from the critical point to a conveniently chosen patching point. The sum of the squares of the differences of the dependent variables at the patching point is then minimized with respect to Beta c and Beta ad,c.

Running time:
With reasonable guesses for Beta c and Beta ad,c a solution may be found within 130 s on an IBM 4341.