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Microstructural Refinement of Tantalum for Superconductor Diffusion Barrier…

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Shear Form, Inc
207 Dellwood St. Bryan, TX 77801-2520
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Microstructural Refinement of Tantalum for Superconductor Diffusion Barrier Applications
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER84073
Award Amount: $99,916.00


75778-Previous research has shown that the Ta diffusion barrier in composite Nb3Sn superconductors, such as those used in the superconducting magnets needed for fusion confinement systems, may develop a failure mode during wire drawing, due to the non-uniform deformation of the thin Ta layer. This non-uniform deformation can lead to breaches in the diffusion barrier and its premature fracture during wire drawing. In recent experiments with niobium (Nb), a process called Equal Channel Angular Extrusion (ECAE) was shown to be effective in refining the grain size in bulk material, homogenizing the microstructure, and substantially reducing the texture. This project will demonstrate that ECAE- processed Ta exhibits excellent mechanical characteristics for its use as a diffusion barrier in multi-filamentary composite Nb3Sn superconductors. Phase I will demonstrate: (1) the effectiveness of ECAE processing for grain refinement and microstructure homogenization of pure Ta; and (2) the superior mechanical characteristics of ECAE-processed Ta sheet, compared with commercially available Ta. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The ECAE process should produce better and purer Ta for use as a Nb3Sn superconductor diffusion barrier material.

Principal Investigator:

Robert E. Barber

Business Contact:

K. t. Hartwig
Small Business Information at Submission:

Shear Form
2805 Brothers Boulevard College Station, TX 77845

EIN/Tax ID: 550812265
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No