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Modifications of Traditional Spark Sources to Produce Adjustable Current Waveforms

Volume 31, Number 1 (Feb. 1977) Page 36-39

Walters, J.P.


The adjustable-waveform, high-voltage spark source has found application in several production situations in the alloy industry. Commercial versions of this source have appeared using an auxiliary air-gap, or a hydrogen thyratron, for controlling spark formation. It would appear that some of the practical utility of these sources is associated with increased precision and reduced Matrix effects, as compared to other forms of excitation, arising from use of the pulsating unidirectional spark current that they produce as one of a variety of readily-adjustable waveforms. It is not yet clear that a particular mode Of triggering is more critical to improved spectrochemistry than is the pulsating unidirectional waveform, which suggests that traditional air-gap or rotary-gap high-voltage spark sources that are already in production use could be modified to produce this, and other, waveforms with attendant analytical benefits.