This paper describes the development of a numerical model and explains how it is used to investigate arc-cathode interactions in a plasma arc torch. The model is based on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory and couples Navier-Stokes equations for a nonisothermal fluid with Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetic fields. The equations account for the internal geometry of the torch as well as arc current and gas type and flow rate. They are solved using CFD code and relevant boundary conditions and are shown to provide insight on arc dynamics and the effect of cathode shape on arc behavior.

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