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Electric Arc

Last updated: March 25, 2019

What Does Electric Arc Mean?

An electric arc is a device where an electric current flows between two points called electrodes. The electric arc is the visible plasma between the two electrodes that is caused when the electrical current ionizes gasses. Electric arcs can be used in welding, lighting and plasma cutting. The term electric arc refers to both the electric current and the electrodes between which it travels.

Safeopedia Explains Electric Arc

Energy from an external source is needed to produce ionization for the electric arc. The electrical current originates from the cathode, and the electrons flow towards the anode, a process that creates an electrical discharge made of visible plasma. Electric arcs can have various different colors depending on the type of material from which they are made.

An electric arc has many practical applications where the current is used is used to supply heat. Arcs can also be used in welding, where the metal from one electrode can be used to form the weld. Since electric arcs produce a significant amount of light, they can be used in lamps and other forms of lighting .


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