Inclusion of aerodynamic non-equilibrium effects in supersonic plasma jet enthalpy probe measurements
Low pressure plasma spraying (LPPS) is a thermal spraying technique that has found a niche for low oxidation products. It uses a low pressure environment (i.e:, chamber pressure between 2 and 90 kPa) and yields supersonic plasma jets. The enthalpy probe technique is a common measurement method in plasmas. However LPPS jets are difficult to diagnose as their supersonic nature forces the apparition of a shock wave in front of any measuring device inserted in the jet. Incomplete or erroneous assumptions are usually invoked to overcome the difficulties associated with this shock wave and carry out the LPPS jet diagnosis from enthalpy probe measurements. In this work, a new device is designed to gain access to an additional physical quantity, which is needed to assess the aerodynamic non-equilibrium state of the jet. It is combined with enthalpy probe measurements, and the resulting set of experimental data is used with a numerical procedure based on gas dynamics theory, yielding free-stream supersonic plasma jet values from the measurements behind the induced shock wave. The results agree well with the phenomenology of supersonic jets in aerodynamic nonequilibrium. However this new method is restricted by the local thermodynamic equilibrium assumption, which is directly linked with the pressure and temperature conditions of the plasma jet.