University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering


Emil Pfender

Professor Emeritus
In Memoriam


Dr. Ing. 1959, Electrical Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Diploma 1953, Physics, Univesity of Stuttgart, Germany



Major research interests include arc technology, plasma heat transfer, plasma and arc spraying, and plasma processing of materials including up-to-date modeling of these processes. Plasmas generated by electric arcs or high-frequency discharges are studied in conjunction with material processing. Mixing of such plasmas with external flows is studied both experimentally and analytically. Understanding of heating, melting, and evaporation of materials injected into thermal plasmas is one of the major thrusts of the research. This work is directly linked to projects dealing with plasma spraying, wire arc spraying, and plasma synthesis of fine powders of refractory carbides, nitrides, borides, and oxides. Thermal Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (TPCVD), in particular of diamond films, is the most recent research activity. Diagnostic methods include LDA, laser scattering, computerized emission spectroscopy, probe techniques, SEM, TEM, X-ray diffraction, etc.