A Hydrostatic Processing Facility for Superconducting Wire

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Alabama Cryogenic Engineering, Inc.
P.O. Box 2470, Huntsville, AL, 35804
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
John Hendricks
(256) 536-8629
Business Contact:
Mary Hendricks
(256) 536-8629
Research Institution:
72984-Currently available methods impose limits on the processing of multi-filamentary, superconducting wires used in high energy physics experiments. These limits can be severe when one of the wire components has a mechanical strength substantially smaller than the other component(s), and can eliminate many desirable wire designs from consideration. Niobium-Tin and Niobium-Aluminum are examples of systems that exhibit this problem. Recent experimental work has shown that hydrostatic reduction, using low-angle dies and relatively large-area reductions (greater than 4:1), can produce good results with a much wider range of material mechanical strengths; in particular, jelly roll structures including niobium, copper, and tin have been processed successfully. Yet, when these same systems were processed using cold drawing, the results were unacceptable. This project will develop a hydrostatic processing facility that uses only high area reductions and could have an important impact on superconducting wire production, along with additional improvements in performance. Phase I demonstrated that it is possible to build a relatively large diameter (D = 6¿) pressure vessel that can withstand 150,000 psi. The design uses proven elements taken from the design of conventional extrusion presses. The pressure vessel will enable the production of wire samples in the 300' to 2,000' range, depending on wire diameter, which can be cabled and tested for magnet performance. In Phase II, the high pressure vessel will be built and joined with two other existing vessels to form a Hydrostatic Wire Processing Facility (HWPF). The HWPF will be able to process billets from up to 3" in diameter and 5' long to down to wire size, with all processing done hydrostatically with high area reductions and low angle dies. Several wire geometries will be tested in the HWPF. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The Hydrostatic Wire Processing Facility (HWPF) should extend the ¿parameter space¿ for the production of superconducting wire, allowing wire architectures that cannot be processed with cold-drawing. In addition, larger numbers of elements can be succesfully process in order to reduce effective filament diameter. If the overall program is successful, the HWPF will define the ¿next generation¿ Niobium Tin superconducting wire material.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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