Magnetization measurements on ITER Nb3Sn CICC and strands subjected to irreversible degradation

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We investigated the impact of irreversible strain changes and filament cracking on the AC losses of several Nb3Sn strands and a full-size ITER cable-in-conduit-conductor (CICC). The aim is to evaluate whether the presence of filament cracks in full-size ITER Nb3Sn CICC (after cyclic loading) can be detected without extracting strands from the cable for microscopic observation. The strand AC loss was measured in a magnetometer in virgin condition and after an applied periodic and cyclic bending strain. The filament fracture pattern was determined afterwards by SEM analysis. We found a significant decrease of the hysteresis loss in ITER bronze and internal-tin type strands with increasing filament fracture density. However, in the experimental comparison between a highly degraded section of a full-size ITER TF CICC sample subjected to high electromagnetic load and a section taken from the low magnetic field zone, no clear difference is observed in hysteresis loss but only in coupling loss. The first measurement on a full-size ITER CICC sample indicates that the amount of cracks is at least restricted to an average crack density of 0.05 cracks/filament/mm but a higher accuracy of the CICC AC loss measurement is required for better precision. Further work is required to evaluate whether the observed degradation of the current sharing temperature and n-value is essentially attributed to strand deformation and associated periodic strain variations or filament cracks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number075004
Number of pages9
JournalSuperconductor science and technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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