Superconducting magnets generating magnetic fields above 25 T are needed for many scientific applications. Due to fundamental limitations in NbTi and Nb3Sn, such high-field superconducting magnets require alternative high-field conductors. One candidate conductor is round wire composites of Bi2Sr2CaCu2Ox sheathed in a Ag-alloy matrix (Bi2212/Ag). The performance of such wires is sensitive to the heat treatment, so improvements in the critical current density (Jc) require a thorough understanding of the processing-structure-properties relationships. Here we present a two-part study. In part I, a new heat treatment approach, saw-tooth processing (STP), is introduced based upon previous results showing that Bi2212 nucleation is site-saturation limited. The microstructural evolution of Bi2212 filaments during processing is discussed and results from STP are compared with those from other processes. STP is shown to increase Jc by 120% and 70% relative to partial-melt processing at 5 T and self-field respectively, and by 65% and 34% relative to split-melt processing. Yet STP also complicates the heat treatment by introducing a number of new heat treatment variables that affect the grain morphology, phase assemblage and oxygen content of the Bi2212 filaments and thus the transport properties. In part II, the effects of STP heat treatment parameters on the microstructure and transport properties are discussed. It is shown that wires with the highest transport critical current densities primarily have filaments with two types of microstructures, one comprised primarily of highly textured Bi2212 grains, and another with a noticeable amount of Bi2Sr2CuOx with the Bi2212.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering