Wire Positioning and Degradation in Superconducting Cables Subjected to Electromagnetic Cycling
Jewell, Matthew C.
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Superconducting materials are a fast-growing area of materials science as they have a wide range of important applications. The experimental ITER fusion reactor uses Nb3Sn as part of a superconducting magnet system to levitate and contain the plasma. Nb3Sn is extremely brittle, which means the magnets can degrade with time, as they are subject to very large magnetic forces. The goal of this research is to use image analysis techniques to understand the mechanical impact of electromagnetic cycles on superconducting cable-in-conduit conductors for fusion reactors that contain brittle Nb3Sn superconducting wires. We wish to identify a set of ideal operating conditions that will minimize the mechanical and electrical degradation of the superconductor. In order to accomplish this goal, we must first develop a baseline to compare tested versus untested samples.
Cable in conduit conductor