A Novel Quaternary Low-Cost PIT Nb3Sn Conductor for HEP Magnet Applications at 15 Tesla and Beyond
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.
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