Bi2Sr2CaCu2Ox (Bi2212)/Ag-alloy wires are manufactured via the oxide-powder-in-tube route by filling Ag/Ag-alloy tubes with Bi2212 oxide precursor, deforming into wire, restacking and heat treating using partial-melt processing (PMP). Recent studies propose several requirements on precursor properties, including stoichiometry, chemical homogeneity, carbon content and phase purity. Here, nanosize oxides produced by nGimat's proprietary NanoSpray CombustionTM process are used as starting materials to synthesize Bi2212 oxide precursors via solid-state calcination. Oxide powders for wire fill (precursor powder) with precisely controlled stoichiometry and chemical homogeneity containing over 99 vol% of single Bi2212-phase are synthesized. Alkaline-earth cuprate are found to be the only impurity phase in the precursor powders. Phase transformation, carbon release and grain growth during calcination are studied through a series of quench studies. Effects of particle size, surface area, stoichiometry, chemical homogeneity and microstructures of the starting materials on Bi2212 formation and wire transport properties are discussed. Small particle size, high surface area and short diffusion length of the starting materials result in a rapid and homogeneous phase transformation to Bi2212, along with an early and rapid carbon release. The residual carbon in the precursor powder is between 50 and 90 ppm. The strong dependence of transport J c on precursor stoichiometry indicates that compositional variations within precursor powders should be less than 1.5 mol%. Two Bi-rich and Ca-deficient stoichiometries give higher wire transport critical current density, with the highest being 2520 A mm-2 (4.2 K, 5 T) after 1 bar PMP and 4560 A mm-2 (4.2 K, 5 T) after 100 bar overpressure (OP) processing. The low residual carbon content results in smaller and fewer voids within an OP-processed wire filament. Bi-rich and Ca-deficient stoichiometries and small compositional variations within precursor powders may be a method for engineering uniformly-distributed and high-density Bi2201 intergrowths within Bi2212 grains after PMP.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Metals and Alloys
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry