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Voltage Breakdown Limits at a High Material Temperature for Rapid Pulse Heating in a Vacuum

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Conference paper

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The proposed Advanced Hydro Facility AHF is required to produce multi-pulse radiographs. Electron beam pulse machines with sub-microsecond repetition are not yet available to test the problem of electron beam propagation through the hydro-dynamically expanding plasma from the nearby previously heated target material. A proposed test scenario includes an ohmically heated small volume of target material simulating the electron beam heating, along with an actual electron beam pulse impinging on nearby target material. A pulse power heating circuit was tested to evaluate the limits of pulse heating a small volume of material to tens of kilo-joules per gram. The main pulse heating time 50 to 100 ns was to simulate the electron beam heating of a converter target material. To avoid skin heating non-uniformity a longer time scale pulse of a few microseconds first heats the target material to a few thousand degrees near the liquid to vapor transition. Under this state the maximum electric field that the current carrying conductor can support is the important parameter for insuring that the 100 ns heating pulse can deposit sufficient power. A small pulse power system was built for tests of this limit. Under cold conditions the vacuum electric field hold-off limit has been quoted as high as many tens of kilovolts per centimeter. The tests for these experiments found that the vacuum electric field hold-off was limited to a few kilovolts per centimeter when the material approached melting temperatures. Therefore the proposed test scenario for AHF was not achievable.

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  • Particle Accelerators

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