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Reference Number EP/K02910X/1
Title Energy and the Physical Sciences: Novel multi-seeded bulk superconductors for sustainable engineering applications
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Industry) 10%;
ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Residential and commercial) 5%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (General Engineering and Mineral & Mining Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor DA Cardwell
No email address given
University of Cambridge
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2013
End Date 30 September 2016
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £472,525
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region East of England
Programme Energy : Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor DA Cardwell , Engineering, University of Cambridge (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Technische Universität Wien, Austria (0.000%)
Project Contact , IFW Dresden, Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , Siemens plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Boeing Phantom Works, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Liège,Belgium (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The ability to generate strong and stable magnetic fields is a critical enabling technology for a broad range of sustainable engineering applications. Almost invariably, more compact field sources and higher magnetic field densities lead directly to more efficient and cost effective devices. One example of this can be found in the widespread applications of small, high power DC electric motors, which have proliferated since the development of the cheap high energy density family of NdFeB materials in the 1980s. Wire-wound superconducting magnets, on the other hand, may offer the potential to generate large magnetic fields, but they are extremely expensive and are difficult to manufacture. A cheaper, simpler and more robust option is the use of magnetised bulk superconductors. The (RE)BCO (where RE = rare earth element such as Y, Nd, Sm, Gd, etc.) family of bulk, melt processed high temperature superconductors (HTS), in particular, is the subject of extensive world-wide developmental research. Bulk HTS materials offer considerable potential to both improve the performance of existing devices that incorporate permanent magnets and to develop new, high field and sustainable energy storage applications, in particular. Indeed, these materials represent a direct link between the physical sciences and the development of sustainable applications in the energy needs sector that will be fundamental to growth of the UK economy in the short to medium term.A number of important scientific and technical challenges to the incorporation of (RE)BCO bulk superconducting materials into practical engineering applications remain. These include improving process efficiency, sample properties, yield, reducing the cost of raw materials, recycling, processing larger samples with conformal geometries, development of a practical magnetisation process and the development of bespoke cryogenic systems for specific applications.The main objective of this proposal is to address and overcome the critical aspects of these challenges to gain a fundamental understanding of the single grain growth process. This will enable the cost-effective processing of (RE)BCO materials with conformal geometries that will be fundamental to their application in a range of sustainable engineering devices within the energy sector and healthcare industry. Specific emphasis of the project will be placed on the development of an effective recycling process to enable a new secondary bulk sample source for low to medium field applications, the development of a novel multi-seeding technique for fabricating large samples of conformal geometry and the development of a novel fabrication process based on a graded composition to produce bulk samples with homogeneous superconducting properties throughout the bulk microstructure.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/11/13