A study was performed on the heat transfer and the fluid flow during transient melting of a metal plate subjected to stationary, penetrating plasma-arc heating. An integral method of solution was used for this simplified, first-order simulation of plasma-arc metal processing. The results of the study reveal the importance of the workpiece thickness, plasma-penetrating hole size, and gravity on the melting process and the molten fluid flow. The study also shows that plasma-arc metal processing seems to be a low-efficiency manufacturing process with only 7 percent of the plasma energy contributing to the melting.

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