Tailored Structural Material Solutions for Large-Scale Superconducting Magnets
Due to the COVID-19 crisis measurements the PhD defence of Stefanie Langeslag will take place online without the presence of an audience.
The recording of this defence will be added to the video overview of recent defences.
Stefanie Langeslag is a PhD student in the research group Energy, Materials and Systems (EMS). Her supervisor is prof.dr.ir. H.H.J. te Kate from the Faculty of Science and Technology.
Superconducting high-field magnets have become indispensable in applications requiring the magnetic confinement of charged particles in fusion devices or their identification in particle physics detectors. Current state-of-the-art magnetic confinement systems for plasma fusion physics achieve magnetic-field values of some 13 tesla in bore-sizes exceeding 4 meter, while for future high-energy physics detector magnets magnetic fields of 4 to 6 tesla in a bore diameter of 10 to 12 meter are envisaged. Such ambitious magnets are needed for the further probing of the standard model or to exploit the physics and feasibility of nuclear fusion. A scale-up, however, implies the development of superconductors and magnet structures that can handle the combination of current density, magnetic field and bore size thereby generating static and dynamic forces and resulting stress in the materials, while still subjected to a large set of additional requirements.
For the design of such structures, customised material solutions are essential. The research on three tailored material solutions is presented, each with a unique set of requirements and ensuing challenges. Common to all is the quest for a load-bearing solution that does not overly compromise other essential characteristics. All were designed and selected with the full production sequence in mind, from conception of the raw material until operation in the magnetic environment.
All tailored materials that were designed and studied in this work illustrate that for low-temperature high-magnetic-field applications, three strongly interrelated factors need to be considered: composition, workability and thermal stability. Simultaneously taking all three into account throughout a fully scalable chain of production processes is by no means a trivial task, but can nonetheless be accomplished by adopting customised material solutions fully adapted to the application.