Innovative Inorganic Fusion Magnet Insulation Systems

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Composite Technology Development, Inc.
2600 Campus Drive Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

72206S03-I Magnet systems for Next Step Option (NSO) fusion devices will require insulation systems that can tolerate exposure to high levels of radiation as well as both cryogenic and elevated temperatures. Currently available insulation systems either: (1) do not meet these requirements; or (2) compromise the magnet system design or economics to such an extent as to make them unfeasible. This project will develop new ceramic insulation systems, capable of being processed during the superconductor heat treatment, that meet the needs of NSO fusion devices. The new inorganic insulation systems will provide high radiation resistance and enhanced cryogenic and elevated temperature performance, with processing properties similar to traditional composite insulation systems. In Phase I, new, low cost ceramic matrix systems will be formulated that are capable of being co-processed with the superconductor and fabricated using a pre-impregnation process. Processing conditions will be developed to minimize performance-limiting defects and to maximize the consistency of properties. Mechanical and electrical properties will be measured. The performance of the new insulation materials, after exposure to high levels of radiation, will also be evaluated. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Development of a pre-impregnation ceramic insulation should have commercial applications and benefit for fusion magnets, high field accelerator magnets, and medical MRI instruments. Another potential application would be strong insulation for commercial heating elements, because the insulation would be cheaper and easier to fabricate.