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Transformation Toughening of Niobium-Tin Superconducting Material

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120958D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 1 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Clarke, DR: AUTHOR

Abstract

Described is a method of toughening niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) super-conducting material through the use of tetragonal particles of zirconia.

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Transformation Toughening of Niobium-Tin Superconducting Material

      Described is a method of toughening niobium-tin (Nb3Sn)
super-conducting material through the use of tetragonal particles of
zirconia.

      Despite the use of ceramic superconductors based on yttrium
barium cuprate and having superconducting temperatures in excess of
77~K, the materials used in practical superconducting devices are
typically the metallic materials Nb3Sn and niobium-titanium.
Although Nb3Sn has a higher superconducting transition temperature
than niobium-titanium alloys, it is not generally used in commercial
superconducting magnets since it is brittle, having a low fracture
toughness.  Also, it is difficult to fabricate into complex shapes,
such as a magnet winding. Niobium-titanium has been used instead
because it is more ductile, although it has an inferior transition
temperature.

      The concept described herein provides a transformation method
whereby the toughness of the Nb3Sn is increased, thereby enabling
Nb3Sn to be used for superconducting materials.  The fracture
resistance of many brittle ceramics is typically increased by
incorporating particles of tetragonal zirconia (ZrO2) during
processing and fabrication.  This increase in toughness is attributed
to the transformation to the monoclinic polymorph of the tetragonal
zirconia particles in the vicinity of a crack. This transformation
toughening has been successfully used to toughen many brittle
ceramics, s...