Metallographic investigation of first full-size high-Jc Nb3Sn cable-in-conduit conductor after cyclic loading tests

Chao Dai*, Yunhao Liu, Zichuan Guo, Yu Wu, Arend Nijhuis, Tianjun Xue, Zuojiafeng Wu, Jinggang Qin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


In order to verify the feasibility of applying high-Jc Nb3Sn strand in fusion magnet, a full-size cable-in-conduit conductor (CICC) with short twist pitch (STP) cable pattern was manufactured and tested in SULTAN facility at SPC, Switzerland. Three levels of cyclic electromagnetic (EM) load were applied on the sample stepwise, no visible decrease of current sharing temperature (Tcs) was observed until the EM load increased to 80 kA × 10.8 T, after that the Tcs decreased dramatically with the EM cycles, which suggested that irreversible deformation, causing a change in the strain state, or even damage has occurred in the superconducting strands. For investigating the reason which caused the conductor performance degradation, the tested conductor was dissected for metallographic observation. Eight segments which subjected to different EM loads were extracted from one of the legs, the geometric feature changes of the cable cross-sections were analyzed and compared. A good correlation was found between the decrease of the Tcs and deformation of the cable cross section. A mass of cracks were found on the sub-elements of strands in the segment which subjected to highest EM load, but the amount of crack is much lower in other segments. Combining the analyses, it is speculated that the critical EM load which causes irreversible degradation is between 850 kN/m and 870 kN/m for this conductor. The results could be a reference in high-Jc Nb3Sn CICC design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100071
Number of pages8
Early online date15 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Cable-in-conduit conductor
  • High-J NbSn
  • Metallography


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