Impact of Spatial Periodic Bending and Load Cycling on the Critical Current of a Nb3Sn Strand

A. Nijhuis, N.C. van den Eijnden, Y. Ilyin, E.G. van Putten, G.J.T. Veening, W.A.J. Wessel, A. den Ouden, H.H.J. ten Kate

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Differences in the thermal contraction of the composite materials in a cable in conduit conductor (CICC) for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in combination with electromagnetic charging cause significant axial, transverse and bending strains in the Nb3Sn layer. These high strain loads degrade the superconducting properties of a CICC. Here we report on the influence of periodic bending load, using different bending wavelengths from 5 to 10 mm on a Nb3Sn powder-in-tube processed strand. The strand axial tensile stress–strain curve, the critical current versus applied axial strain results, the influence of cyclic loading on the RRR and assessment of the current transfer length from AC loss measurements, required for the analysis, are presented as well.

For the strand under investigation, we find an influence of bending strain on the Ic that corresponds well to the predictions obtained from the applied classical relations, distinguishing ultimate boundaries of high and low interfilament electrical resistance. The reduction versus applied bending strain is similar for all wavelengths and equivalent to the low transverse resistance model, which is consistent with the estimated current transfer length. The cyclic behaviour in terms of critical current and n-value involves a component representing a permanent reduction as well as a factor expressing reversible (elastic) behaviour as a function of the applied load.

The results from the set-up enable a discrimination in performance reduction per specific load type and per strand type. In this paper, we discuss the results of the pure bending tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S273-S283
Number of pages11
JournalSuperconductor science and technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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