This paper concerns the study of contact opening under DC voltage in the case of high intensity currents (a few hundred amperes). The application fields are mainly automotive and aeronautical systems. An experimental device has been designed in order to study the opening of contacts under various conditions. The influence of several parameters on contact opening is studied. These are the following: the opening velocity, the current intensity through the closed contact, the nature of the contact
materials (Ag, AgSnO
, the value of the inductance in the electrical circuit... The measured parameters characterizing the opening phase are: the arc duration, the value of the electrode gap when the arc extinguishes, the arc energy.