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Simulation of Electric Arc Erosion in a Circuit Breaker Using Moving Mesh

Balamurugan S1 and Vignesh Shanmugam S2
1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, SRM University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, PSG college of Technology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract—The objective of this work is to simulate the erosion of material in stationary contact of a circuit breaker due to electric arc caused by short circuiting using moving mesh feature in Comsol Multiphysics 4.2 and to suggest a better material so as to have minimum erosion. For this analysis, arc erosion constant was defined and found to be a constant experimentally. Using this constant, the process of erosion was simulated using moving mesh. When the stationary contact of circuit breaker was modeled and analyzed, the maximum erosion for a period of 500 ms was found to be 219 microns for AgCdO (Silver cadmium oxide) button with Copper base. When alternate combinations were analyzed, copper with copper base proved to be a better combination as it results in minimum erosion with better conductivity.

Index Terms—Circuit breaker, Electric arc erosion, Moving mesh, Modelling, Comsol Multiphysics 4.2

Cite: Balamurugan S and Vignesh Shanmugam S, "Simulation of Electric Arc Erosion in a Circuit Breaker Using Moving Mesh," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Special Issue, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 129-135, January 2014.