Processing and Characterization of Superconducting Solenoids Made of Bi-2212/Ag-Alloy Multifilament Round Wire for High Field Magnet Applications
Chen, Peng (author)
Larbalestier, D. (David) (professor co-directing dissertation)
Trociewitz, Ulf Peter (professor co-directing dissertation)
Chiorescu, Irinel (university representative)
Hellstrom, Eric (committee member)
Guo, Wei (committee member)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (degree granting college)
Department of Mechanical Engineering (degree granting department)
As the only high temperature superconductor with round wire (RW) geometry, Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+x (Bi-2212) superconducting wire has the advantages of being multi-filamentary, macroscopically isotropic and twistable. With overpressure (OP) processing techniques recently developed by our group at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL), the engineering current density (Je) of Bi-2212 RW can be dramatically increased. For example, Je of more than 600 A/mm2 (4.2 K and 20 T) is achieved after 100 bar OP processing. With these intrinsically beneficial properties and recent processing progress, Bi-2212 RW has become very attractive for high field magnet applications, especially for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) magnets and accelerator magnets etc. This thesis summarizes my graduate study on Bi-2212 solenoids for high field and high homogeneity NMR magnet applications, which mainly includes performance study of Bi-2212 RW insulations, 1 bar and OP processing study of Bi-2212 solenoids, and development of superconducting joints between Bi-2212 RW conductors. Electrical insulation is one of the key components of Bi-2212 coils to provide sufficient electrical standoff within coil winding pack. A TiO2/polymer insulation offered by nGimat LLC was systematically investigated by differential thermal analysis (DTA), thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dielectric property measurements, and transport critical current (Ic) property measurements. About 29% of the insulation by weight is polymer. When the Bi-2212 wire is fully heat treated, this decomposes with slow heating to 400 °C in flowing O2. After the full reaction, we found that the TiO2 did not degrade the critical current properties, adhered well to the conductor, and provided a breakdown voltage of more than 100 V. A Bi-2212 RW wound solenoid coil was built using this insulation being offered by nGimat LLC. The coil resistance was constant through coil winding, polymer burn-off and full coil reaction. The coil was successfully tested at the NHMFL generating 33.8 T combined magnetic field in a 31.2 T background field. Multiple quenches occurred safely, which also illustrates that the insulation provided sufficient dielectric standoff. For Bi-2212 RW with a typical as-drawn diameter of 1.0-1.5 mm, this 15 µm thick insulation allows a very high coil packing factor of ~0.74, whereas earlier alumino-silicate braid insulation only allows packing factors of 0.38-0.48. In addition to the commercial TiO2/polymer insulation, we have also investigated sol-gel based ceramic coatings through collaboration with Harran University and another TiO2 based insulation coating at the NHMFL. Since Bi-2212 superconducting coils employ the Wind-and-React (W&R) technology, there are some potential issues in processing Bi-2212 coils, in particular for coils with a large thermal mass and dense oxide insulation coating. For this study, several Bi-2212 test solenoids with an outer diameter (OD) of about 90 mm were built and heat treated in 1 bar flowing oxygen with deadweights applied so as to simulate large coil packs. After the heat treatment (HT), coils were epoxy impregnated and cut. Winding pack was checked using SEM in terms of conductor geometry and insulation. Some samples were extracted to measure transport critical current Ic and critical temperature Tc. The results are very promising: test coils presented low creep behavior after standard partial melt HT under mechanical load, and no Ic degradation was found due to the application of mechanical load, and no inadequate oxygenation issue was seen for thick coils with ceramic coating on the wire. However, coils were partially electrically shorted after 1 bar HT under mechanical load, and we believe that increasing insulation coating thickness is necessary. In addition, several small solenoids were manufactured to study OP processing of Bi-2212 coils. The preliminary results indicate that there are some gaps between turns due to densification of wires (~4% wire diameter reduction) during 50-100 bar OP processing, and the diameter shrinking of conductors will potentially lead to coil sagging. So far, we have developed some methods to solve the issue of coil sagging, such as using flexible coil flange to allow smooth sagging of winding pack during OP processing. We have also investigated electrical joints between Bi-2212 RW conductors, which include resistive joints and superconducting joints. For resistive Bi-2212 joints, we evaluated conventional diffusion bonding method and soldering method. In general, the joints (with 42 mm joint length) resistances are below 200 nΩ at 4.2 K and magnetic fields up to 13.5 T, and the effect of magnetoresistance is clearly present. In addition to resistive joints, we successfully developed a superconducting joint between Bi-2212 RW conductors for persistent current mode (PCM) operations. The joint fabrication procedure is effective and practical, enabling Bi-2212 superconducting joints to be achieved during the standard Bi-2212 HT processing. First, the melting temperatures of Bi-2212 precursor mixtures with different amounts of Ag additions were investigated by DTA. Then, test joints were fabricated and heat treated in 1 bar flowing oxygen using the standard Bi-2212 HT schedule. The voltage-current (V-I) properties were measured using the conventional four-point method at 4.2 K in magnetic fields up to 14 T. A maximum supercurrent of ~850 A was achieved at 4.2 K and self-field. With the increase of external field, the supercurrent gradually decreased as expected, but a supercurrent of ~450 A was still presented at 4.2 K and 14 T. Compared with open-ended short samples with identical 1 bar Bi-2212 reaction, we found that the Ic properties of joints did not degrade. Meanwhile, microstructures of joints were examined by SEM, which clearly presented the formation of a Bi-2212 superconducting interface between two independent Bi-2212 RW conductors. Furthermore, a Bi-2212 RW closed-loop solenoid with a superconducting joint was fabricated and fully heat treated in 1 bar flowing oxygen. Using the field decay method, the joint resistance was estimated to be below 5×10-12 Ω at 4.2 K and self-field.
Bi-2212, Insulation, Superconducting joint, Superconducting magnet
March 29, 2016.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
David Larbalestier, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Ulf Trociewitz, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Irinel Chiorescu, University Representative; Eric Hellstrom, Committee Member; Wei Guo, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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