We can provide thermodynamic and transport properties for just about any plasma composition, helping industry and researchers to develop reliable computational models.

The Challenge

Computational models need reliable data

Thermal plasma processes make use of the intense energy in electric arcs to process materials at high temperatures. Types of thermal plasma processes include arc welding, plasma cutting, plasma spraying, plasma waste treatment, arc lighting and arc furnaces, which are all of huge industrial importance.

Computational models of these processes can help businesses in many ways including process optimisation, reducing costs, designing apparatus, improving efficiency and facilitating scale up. For example, we have developed a model of arc welding that helps engineers to design welding schedules, bringing down costs and improving the quality of welds.

However, these models rely on accurate data for properties such as density, specific heat, thermal conductivity, viscosity, electrical conductivity and diffusion coefficients, all as a function of temperature, pressure and composition.

Our Response

Our computer program and databases can help

A welding arc formed from a mixture of helium and argon. The helium, which appears pink, becomes concentrated in the centre, as predicted by the computational model. An essential input into the model was our thermophysical properties of argon–helium plasmas.

We have developed a computer program that calculates the composition, thermodynamic properties (density, specific heat and enthalpy) and transport properties (viscosity, thermal and electrical conductivity, and diffusion coefficients) of thermal plasmas for temperatures from 300 to 30,000 kelvin or even higher.

This has allowed us to generate extensive databases of species properties and collision cross-sections, allowing us to calculate these properties for a huge range of plasma compositions. This includes standard plasma gases such as argon, helium, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and air, metal vapours, polymer vapours and mixtures. By incorporating virial and Debye-Hückel corrections, we can extend our calculations to high pressures.

The Results

Data for just about any application

Using our computer model, we can provide data for essentially any high-temperature gas or thermal plasma composition.

Our data are used as benchmarks internationally. They have been used by over 70 companies, research institutes and university groups in over 25 countries for modelling processes including arc welding, plasma spraying, circuit interpretation, satellite propulsion, nanoparticle production and waste treatment.

Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

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