Comparison of different techniques for the FLUENT©-based treatment of the electromagnetic field in inductively coupled plasma torches
Università degli Studi di Bologna, Dipartimento di Ingegneria delle Costruzioni Meccaniche, Nucleari, Aeronautiche e di Metallurgia (D.I.E.M.) and C.I.R.A.M., Via Saragozza 8, 40123 Bologna, Italy
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 29 July 2003
A new technique for using the CFD commercial code FLUENT© to simulate inductively coupled plasma torches by means of two-dimensional axisymmetric models is presented. The method is based on an external user-defined function (UDF) which fully solves the electromagnetic field equations, letting the FLUENT© built-in module calculate only the plasma temperature and velocity fields inside the torch region. In this framework, computations have been carried out for LTE, optically thin argon plasmas at atmospheric pressure, using extended grid models with either magnetic dipole or vanishing vector potential boundary conditions for the electromagnetic field. It is shown that our newly developed technique is up to 60% faster on each iteration than that using user-defined scalars (UDS) previously proposed in the literature, as the need of solving flow field equations also outside the plasma zone is eliminated. Calculations are also performed using exact integral boundary conditions for the vector potential, as given by the standard electromagnetic field approach, taking into account the effects of both exciting and induced currents. The corresponding results are compared with the approximate ones obtained by employing extended grid models, showing that for small radial dimensions of the electromagnetic field domain, the magnetic dipole boundary conditions give more realistic solutions than those assuming a vanishing vector potential.
PACS: 52.75.Hn – Plasma torches / 52.65.-y – Plasma simulation / 52.80.Pi – High-frequency and RF discharges
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2003