The anode heat flux density of high-current arcs was determined by measuring the time from striking an arc to the onset of surface melting. Data were taken using argon and nitrogen with different metals, pressures, and anode surface temperatures. The anode heat flux density was found to be between 104 and 106 w/cm2 for arc currents of 50 to 2000 amp; these values increased with increasing arc current and gas pressure and were higher in nitrogen than in argon. The initial anode surface temperature also had a strong effect on the anode attachment spot.

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