A Process for Preparing 'Melt-Textured Growth' YBCO High Temperature Superconductors at Temperatures Below the Melting Point of Silver
Description A low temperature melt-textured growth (MTG) process for bulk Yttrium-Barium-Copper-Oxide (YBCO) below the melting point of silver (960 degC). The inventors have been able to melt starting precursors at 950 degC with the resulting product being YBCO with silver addition (using techniques such as powder-in-the-tube). This allows the inventors to overcome the two major material problems that prevent large scale applications of high temperature superconductors, specifically limited superconducting critical current density and brittleness. Applications Wires, cables, ribbons and tapes. The commercialization of this project may lead to large scale applications such as superconducting magnets, superconducting power transmission lines, and magnetic energy storage systems. Other potential applications include electric motors, power electronics, transportation, heat pumps, electromagnetic pumps and materials production. Main Advantages The biggest advantage of the YBCO/Ag wires and cables is that they will allow energy transmission and storage with little or zero energy loss. The superconducting critical current density is 100 times better than that of sintered bulk YBCO and comparable to the fully optimized results obtained by the existing MTG process. Incorporating silver into the compound solves the problems of brittleness and current capacity. Silver is strong and ductile and the final composite product in the cable or ribbon form can be made long and flexible.
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