Critical current and strand stiffness of three types Nb3Sn strand subjected to spatial periodic bending

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Knowledge of the influence of bending on the critical current (Ic) of Nb3Sn strands is essential for the understanding of the reduction in performance due to transverse electromagnetic load. In particular, for the large cable-in-conduit conductors (CICCs) meant for the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER), we expect that bending is the dominant mechanism for this degradation. We have measured the Ic of a bronze, a powder-in-tube and an internal tin processed Nb3Sn strand when subjected to spatial periodic bending using bending wavelengths from 5 to 10 mm. Two of these strands were applied in model coils for the ITER. We found that the tested strands behave according to the so-called low interfilament resistivity limit, confirming full current transfer between the filaments. This is supported by AC coupling loss measurements giving an indication of the interfilament current transfer length. The reduction of Ic due to bending strain can then be simply derived from the bending amplitude and the Ic versus axial applied strain (ε) relation. This Ic(ε) sensitivity can vary for different strand types but since the electromagnetic force is the driving parameter for strand bending in a CICC, the stiffness of the strands definitively plays a key role, which is confirmed by the results presented
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1136-1145
Number of pages10
JournalSuperconductor science and technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • IR-74453
  • METIS-233295

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