Carbon arc

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Solid carbon filaments or rods produce light and heat when an electrical arc is passed between them. Carbon arc lamps require low-currents, but produce of brilliant, high intensity glow. They can simulate the spectrum of sunlight including the ultraviolet and infrared regions. Carbon arc lamps have been used for motion picture projectors. They are also used to produce intense heat for the cutting and welding of metals.

Synonyms and Related Terms

carbon-arc (Br.); Lichtbogen (Deut.)


  • Carbon arc fumes are toxic. They emit nitrogen oxides, ozone, carbon monoxide and vapors from rare earth metals.
  • The ultraviolet light can damage eyes.

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 141
  • ASTM, Standard Terminology Relating to Natural and Artificial Weathering Tests of Nonmetallic Materials, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 14, General Methods and Instrumentation, ASTM, G113, 1371-1373, Sep-94
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979

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