This paper presents experimental research into the behavior of short circuit break arcs ignited between opening contacts. The investigation is applied to arc chamber geometries commonly used in miniature circuit breakers (MCB). The movement of the anode and cathode roots are individually plotted from optical data, allowing the relative motion to be compared. The effect of a range of MCB configurations on the arc root motion has been investigated. The experiment was configured so that the fixed contact was always the cathode. The results show that the two are roots do not move away from the contact region simultaneously. Often the cathode root moved off the fixed contact and away from the contact region before the anode root commutated from the moving contact. The delay in anode root commutation leads to a delayed cathode root movement. These events are explained in terms of arc root emission processes
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