The Design of an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Torch Used for Polishing Ultra-Smooth Surfaces
As there are always certain defects on the final surface of large-scale lightweight mirrors, which are formed in traditional mechanical polishing process, such as microcracks, lattice disturbances, plastic deformation, and so on, an atmospheric pressure plasma polishing method is a good solution to this problem. As a key component, the design of the capacitance coupling atmospheric pressure radio-frequency plasma torch is introduced. The designed torch uses water cooled coaxial aluminium electrodes with special treatment to avoid arcing between them. In normal machining process, the mixture of reaction gas and plasma gas with optimum ratio is input into the plasma torch. Then, excited by radio-frequency power, reaction gas is ionized in the plasma so as to create high density and energy reactive radicals under atmospheric pressure. The radicals cause chemical reactions with the atoms on the part surface, which performs an effective atomscale removal process. As the machining process is chemical in nature, this method avoids surface/subsurface defects mentioned above. Furthermore, initial experiment data analysis has proved that the atmospheric pressure plasma polishing method is effective and reliable, as well as demonstrates the validity of the designed plasma torch.
Guo Fan JIN, Wing Bun LEE, Chi Fai CHEUNG and Suet TO
J. F. Zhang et al., "The Design of an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Torch Used for Polishing Ultra-Smooth Surfaces", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 364-366, pp. 340-345, 2008