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Plantsville, CT, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 600.00K | Year: 2008

Doing High Energy Physics (HEP) at higher energy collisions requires higher energy and luminosity. More luminosity means larger apertures and, therefore, bigger magnets with magnetic fields beyond 12 Tesla. The HEP engineering goal for the near future of five to eight years is 15T to 20T. This means a requirement for advanced Nb3Sn superconductors with improved performance and cost. This project will develop and demonstrate an economical high-performance powder-in-tube (PIT) Nb3Sn process for use in magnets for future HEP accelerator research. This will be accomplished by the improvement of the critical current density in high magnetic fields above 15T. The project will develop novel second phase flux pinning that will enhance the performance at high magnetic fields in PIT Nb3Sn superconductors. The Phase I project developed and demonstrated the effectiveness of the second phase flux pinning and grain refinement. This in turn resulted in improved property performance at high magnetic fields. The Phase II project will optimize the heat treatment temperature and time and the alloy compositions. The data will be used to assemble and manufacture a scale-up prototype conductor in the Phase II project. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The improved cost-performance for this new conductor will have an immediate benefit for high field magnets in DOE HEP applications. Other important applications for these superconductors include fusion reactors and uses in chemical research, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, polymer science, petroleum research, agricultural chemistry, and medicine.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.98K | Year: 2009

Advanced undulator radiation sources are required for current and future light sources at DOE user facilities. This project will develop and demonstrate an extrudable NbTi superconductor with ferromagnetic pins as undulators. The critical aspects of the conductor design will include optimizing the pin size and distribution, in order to maximize the bulk pinning force of the conductor. Phase I will prove the feasibility of hot extrusion of the Ni APC NbTi superconductors by fabricating billets (32 mm OD by 250 mm long) for each restack step. The billets will be hot extruded and then drawn to the next restack assembly size. This procedure will be repeated through the final fourth step. If the feasibility study proves to be successful, then larger diameter billets will be planed for Phase II, which also will involve the development of methods to reduce the steps, increase piece lengths, and reduce cost. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee In addition to DOE applications, undulator magnets are important for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The current NMR market includes spectrometers up to operating frequencies of 800 MHz. Any additional improvements in NbTi superconductors could impact the cost of these high end spectrometers. The total NMR market is on the order of a quarter to a half billion dollars and growing. NMR spectroscopy is important for discovering new drugs, evaluating new synthetic materials, and exploring the realm of proteomics.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2009

High energy physics (HEP) experiments with higher energy collisions require energy and luminosity. More luminosity means larger apertures and bigger magnets, and the development of high field magnets s requires higher-performance low-cost Nb3Sn superconductors. The cost-performance of state-of-the-art commercial Nb3Sn strand is $3/kA-m to $5/kA-m. Powder-in-tube (PIT) Nb3Sn wire offers the possibility of improving cost-performance to less than $1.00/kA-m. Therefore, this project will develop and demonstrate a PIT process that can substantially lower strand costs. In particular, a new low-cost intermetallic tin powder will be introduced within a low-cost novel PIT conductor design. In Phase I, a low-cost Nb1%Zr alloy will be fabricated into tubes and clad with copper. For the tin source, a low-cost (CuTi)5Sn4 intermetallic powder will be introduced into the new copper-clad Nb alloy tubes. The new low-cost PIT mono-elements will be processed and assembled into multifilament billets, which will be drawn to final wire diameter. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new PIT Nb3Sn conductor should benefit the production of high field magnets in HEP applications, fusion reactors, NMR, and MRI. The application of NMR is on the verge of technological explosion with requirements for uses in chemical research, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, polymer science, petroleum research, agricultural chemistry, and medicine. Advances in the development of cost effective superconductors would help bring these powerful research tools into wider use for the general benefit of the public.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.87K | Year: 2009

The high energy physics (HEP) research field employs high energy particle colliders to verify quantum theory, the existence of proposed subatomic particles, and theories of the origin of our universe. The development of multi-filament powder-in-tube (PIT) V3Ga superconductors would provide benefits over current Nb3Sn technology, enabling the capabilities of future HEP installations to be expanded. This project will develop and demonstrate an effective multifilament V3Ga conductor by the PIT process. The expected benefits over Nb-based conductors include higher, more consistent critical current density (Jc) at higher magnetic fields (15T - 20T), and increased strain resilience. In Phase I, jet milled Cu-Ga powders of varying Cu:Ga ratios will be packed into copper-clad V tubes fabricated from V foil or drilled-out V rods. The resulting tubes will be drawn and restacked into a 19-element hexagonal design, drawn into the final multifilament assembly, and heat treated at various temperatures. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: With inherent benefits over Nb-based conductors, V3Ga conductors could revolutionize the HEP field. Moreover, the establishment of efficient V3Ga multifilament conductors could speed the development of a commercial fusion machine, potentially providing an unlimited source of energy. Finally, resilient, high field multifilament V3Ga conductors could advance NMR technology, providing benefits to medical research and treatment.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.87K | Year: 2009

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project was initiated in 1985 and has grown to a world-wide coalition of nations including the European Union, Japan, Russia, China, the Republic of Korea, and the US. As the ITER project advances fusion technology and future commercial fusion reactors become a reality, fusion magnet requirements will necessitate the development of superconductors superior to the current Nb-based materials. This project will develop and demonstrate an effective multifilament V3Ga conductor by the powder-in-tube (PIT) process. The expected benefits over Nb-based conductors include higher, more consistent critical current density (Jc) in higher magnetic fields (15T - 20T) and increased strain resilience. In Phase I, jet milled Cu-Ga powders of varying Cu:Ga ratios will be packed into copper-clad V tubes fabricated from V foil or drilled-out V rods. The resulting tubes will be drawn and restacked into a 19-element hexagonal design, drawn into the final multifilament assembly, and heat treated at various temperatures. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee In addition to the application to fusion reactors, the proposed V3Ga conductors would benefit high energy physics (particularly in the LHC upgrade, in order to provide higher energy and luminosity) and NMR technology (providing higher magnetic field performance and increased imaging capability, ultimately benefiting health care and the public in general).

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