A New Nb3Sn Process with a Novel Artificial Pinning Center for High Energy Physics and High Magnetic Field Applications
The development of an APC Nb3Sn superconductor with tin-pin artificial pinning centers by the proposed approach in the Phase I program, is anticipated to have a significant impact on cost and performance in applications for undulator magnets. The overall technical approach for the Phase I project will be to develop and demonstrate an Nb3Sn superconductor with tin-Al2O3 pins for HEP magnets. The critical aspects of the conductor design will include optimizing pin size and distribution in order to maximize the bulk pinning force of the conductor. To prove the feasibility of of the tin- Al2O3 APC Nb3Sn superconductors in the Phase I work, 32 mm od billets by 250 mm long will be fabricated for each restack step. The billets will be drawn to the next restack assembly size. This will be repeated through the final fourth step. If the feasibility study proves to be successful, then larger diameter billets will be planned for the Phase II work plan to reduce the steps, increase piece lengths, and reduce cost. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: While HEP magnets are important for future LHC upgrads, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) magnets have the nearest term commercial potential. The current NMR market includes spectrometers up to operating frequencies of 800 MHz. Any additional improvements in Nb3Sn superconductors which are included in the inner sections of the NMR magnets could impact the cost of these high end spectrometers. The total NMR market is on the order of a quarter to a half billion dollars and growing. Such systems require magnets generating fields up to 18T range. NMR spectroscopy is a non- destructive technique for mapping molecular structures and learning how molecules function and relate to each other. This is important for many applications that have benefits to the public including discovering new drugs, evaluating new synthetic materials, and exploring the realm of the proteomics. Another major market for the product will MRI magnets. With the rising cost of health care, any new innovation to reduce cost would be very welcomed.
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