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Shrewsbury, MA, United States

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

Future magnets for Fusion Energy Systems require superconducting cables with improved high critical current carrying capacity at high magnetic fields, 20 Kelvin operation, low AC losses and lower cost. A new method of fabricating a high current cable with 2G HTS tapes has been developed that will improve the engineering current density achievable. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Future fusion and related superconducting magnets for HEP applications will become more feasible if this project is successful. Additionally, the technology developed if this project is successful can find application in commercial high field magnets for NMR, FT-ICR, and other analytic magnet applications.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

This proposal describes an innovative high strength silver alloy for use in making Bi2212/Ag round wire conductor. Bi2212 is a high field superconductor that has the highest Jc of any practical superconductor at fields above 20 T. NbTi and Nb3Sn, which are currently the primary materials currently used for high field magnets, are limited to about 10.5 T and 18 T respectively. To generate magnetic fields greater than 20 T, a new high field conductor such as Bi2212 is needed. However, Bi2212 is brittle compound that can be easily damaged, and its critical current is very strain sensitive. The Bi2212 compound is contained in a silver matrix in the wire. The silver matrix is chemically compatible with the Bi2212 ceramic, and it aids in processing the conductor. However, silver is a low strength, low stiffness material. It provides little in the way of mechanical support for the conductor during either magnet fabrication or operation. High field magnets are subject to large stresses. These stresses can exceed the yield strength of the silver matrix, causing degradation of conductor thus limiting the usefulness of Bi2212 for high field magnets resulting in the need to use more costly approaches for producing high magnetic fields. This proposal seeks to develop a high strength, high modulus silver alloy for manufacturing Bi2212 round wire multifilament conductor. The silver is strengthened by a fine dispersion of Al2O3 particles producing an alloy having high strength and stiffness. The Al2O3 particles are chemically inert to Bi2212, and strengthen the silver matrix even after high temperature processing. The increased strength and stiffness provided by the silver alloy results in greater resistance to mechanical stresses and electromagnetic forces. These attributes provide for less complex magnet design, resulting in reduced costs with the benefit of higher performance. Potential applications include particle accelerators and high field NMR magnets. Commercial applications and other benefits: A high field superconductor such as Bi2212 will find its primary application in accelerator magnets for high energy physics. The other major application for the technology is high field nuclear magnetic resonance systems for imaging complex organic compounds and biological materials

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2008

The superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2Ox (Bi2212) is currently being considered for high field particle accelerator magnets. Bi2212 has the highest Jc of any practical superconductor at fields greater than 15 Tesla. Thus it will be needed for making high field magnets to improve the performance of machines such as the Large Hadron Collider and Muon Collider. However, the processing requirements for Bi2212 are extremely stringent. It is very difficult to produce a reliable magnet of the size needed for these applications. Making accelerator magnets using Bi2212 represents a difficult and high risk technology. Since these high field accelerator magnetics are very expensive, the loss of a magnet has a significant financial impact on the program. Therefore, this project will develop an alternate fabrication process involving react-wind-sinter (RWS) technology. RWS breaks the heat treatment cycle into two independent segments. Process control is not nearly as stringent for RWS as it is for the conventional approach and is well within commercial capabilities. Thus large magnets can be fabricated without the concern for temperature variations and gradients in the magnet windings that lead to poor properties and magnet performance. The Phase I project demonstrated the viability of the process. The Phase II project will develop a commercially practical magnet fabrication technology for Bi2212 magnets based on the RWS process.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 700.00K | Year: 2008

The High Energy Physics (HEP) community requires the development of superconducting wires for use in magnets generating magnetic fields greater than 12 Tesla. Currently, Nb3Sn is the only commercially available superconductor capable of operating at such high fields. However, the technical and cost performance to date does not meet the stated requirements of the HEP Conductor Advisory Group. This project will develop an economical process for the fabrication of Nb3Sn conductors that will meet the demands for next generation magnet development. The Phase II project will utilize the tubular niobium method developed in the previous Phase I. The Phase II work will consist of heat treatment optimization studies and experiments aimed at further increasing the critical current density. Titanium doped niobium tubes will be fabricated by fixed mandrel tube extrusion and conductor will be scaled up to commercial quantities. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: High performance multifilament Nb3Sn will find applications in HEP particle accelerators, magnetic confinement fusion machines, and commercial nuclear magnetic resonance magnets.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

The high energy physics community seeks high performance multifilament superconducting wire for use in magnets operating in the range of 12-15T or higher. Nb3Sn conductors fabricated by the internal tin (IT) method presently represent the state-of-the-art for these applications. The internal tin tube (ITT) method holds the promise to compete with such conductors if their performance can be raised to a sufficiently high level. One problem with ITT conductors is that it is difficult to avoid the formation of large-grained Nb3Sn. This is an impediment to high performance. Sn-B alloys formed by melt diffusion of powders have been shown to result in thick layers of fine grained Nb3Sn when reacted with niobium in jelly roll composites. In the proposed project, Sn-B powder mixtures will be employed as the tin source in multifilamentary ITT composites. It is anticipated that high performance can be achieved by virtue of the fine Nb3Sn grain size that can be achieved using this technique. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: High performance multifilamentary Nb3Sn will find application in high energy physics particle accelerators and magnetic confinement fusion machines. Commercially, such conductor will find application in high frequency NMR magnets by taking advantage of the higher critical current density in order to reduce the size and overall cost of the magnet system.

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