Scaling Analysis of the Electromagnetic Powder Deposition Gun
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The electromagnetic powder deposition (EPD) system employs high velocity gas flow to accelerate powder material to conditions required for high strength plating. The gas flow, however, is not continuous; rather it consists of bursts generated by an electromagnetic railgun and pulsed power system. Each gas burst is created by a high pressure plasma arc which fills a transverse section of the gun. This current carrying arc is driven by the railgun Lorentz force (magnetic pressure) and acts much like a piston, which via a snowplow process accelerates and compresses an ambient gas column to the flow speed required to accelerate powder particles. Analysis of the total system was carried out to provide scaling relations which give guidance in design of the system. Plating considerations define a desired powder velocity; this combined with the choice of working gas and ambient pressure determines the velocity and duration of each gas burst. Selection of gun geometry completes the definition of the pulsed power system requirements. An outline of the analysis is presented along with the physical models used.