Thin Robust Electrical Insulator for High Field HTS Magnets

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$750K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Ngimat CO.
2436 Over Drive Suite B
Lexington, KY 40511
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

North Carolina State University
Campus Box 7514
Raleigh, NC 27695

Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project is proposed to address high temperature superconductor insulation to help improve stability and quench protection. Most importantly stability will be increased so that the power level at which quench occurs is greatly increased. Quench is the rapid, unintended transition from superconducting to normal conducting. It is a consequence of a fault condition in a superconducting magnet and usually begins when a relatively small normal zone is created somewhere in the superconductor due to some form of heat input that raises the local temperature above the current sharing temperature. Current is then locally transferred to the stabilizing layer, which is resistive, and results in additional heating. During a quench most of the stored electromagnetic energy within the magnet is converted to some other form of energy. This project proposes to improve magnet stability and quench propagation velocity in high temperature superconductor magnets by engineering turn-to-turn insulation. The insulation is intended to ensure the desired current path within the magnet and to provide a flow path for epoxy into the space between turns of the magnet. It will be composed of a nanoceramic-based electrically insulating and thermally conducting intimate coating on the conductor strand. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: High field superconducting magnets are likely to play a critical role in whatever high energy physics device follows the Large Hadron Collider, whether they be used in dipoles, quadrupoles, or solenoids. High temperature superconductors are the only path to the generation of magnetic fields greater than about 20 T, so developing key technologies that enable HTS magnets will have enormous impact and could be used to & gt;40T. Furthermore, even within more conventional accelerators, there are advantages to having quench-resistant magnets for the interaction region. A clear need exists in the nuclear magnetic resonance community for solenoids that generate higher magnetic fields to support scientific research.