Arc Extinction at a Fixed Short Gap between Silver Electrodes

Keiichi SUHARA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E86-C   No.6   pp.921-925
Publication Date: 2003/06/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Recent Development of Electro-Mechanical Devices (IS-EMD 2002))
Category: Discharges & Related Phenomena
minimum arc current,  arc duration time,  arc extinction rate,  

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Arc duration of silver contacts was measured with fixed short gap under the condition of different constant gaps and different constant currents, which are close to the minimum arc current of the contact material. The results indicated that the arc occurred even at the current less than the minimum arc current. The arc duration varies in different operations at the same testing condition and it distributes exponentially in the time range up to 100 microseconds. The time constant τ and the extinction rate λ of the distribution were calculated, and related to the arc current. It was assured by silver electrode arc that, even below the so-called minimum arc current, arc ignition may occur but, in this case, the arc duration is momentary, and, as the arc current decreases, the arc extinction rate becomes large.