Arcing

Definition - What does Arcing mean?

Arcing is an electric current that is brief, strong and highly luminous. An arc is the luminous current discharge which is produced when strong current leaps across the gap between electrodes or within a circuit.

Arcs that are created on specially designed electrodes are capable of producing ultra-bright light and heat, which can be used in illumination and welding. However, unwanted arcing could result in pitting corrosion damage to moving or stationary machine components.

Arcing is also known as electrical arcing.

Corrosionpedia explains Arcing

Arcing can be useful, but in some instances unwanted arcing causes damage to industrial structures like bearings. For instance, electrical pitting may be present in the linings of bearings where there is insignificant arcing. In such a case, the pitting may look blackened because of oil deposits.

These pits can be easily seen due to their size and appearance, and they usually occur in areas where oil is the thinnest. As the pitting brought on by arcing proceeds, the pits may lose their distinguishing appearance as they overlap. When pits are situated near areas with oil films, abrasion damage could take place as well. When the structure, in this case the bearing, becomes incapable of supporting the film of oil, it starts to rub. Although the bearing and other similar structures may still operate, pitting could occur again. The process may happen numerous times prior to experiencing catastrophic failure.

In order to prevent corrosion by arcing, lubricating oil used in industrial machineries should be replaced or filtered as necessary. Additionally, the oil reservoir, assembly and all the piping should be cleaned and flushed. By taking these steps, the possible corrosion damage caused by arcing can be stopped or reduced significantly.

This definition was written in the context of Corrosion

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