Detecting the Onset of Swelling in High Temperature Ceramic BiSrCaCuO Superconductors during Sintering
Dolhay, Kevin T.
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Superconductors are electrical conductors that have the property of carrying large amounts of current at very low temperatures (around 5-10K). These materials must undergo an intensive heating process called sintering that gives the materials these superconducting characteristics. Sintering may also cause an expansion within the tapes, referred to as "swelling", that can damage the super conducting qualities of the material. The following paper is intended to give a brief overview of superconductors and their manufacture, and emphasize on detecting the swelling of high temperature superconductors. The intention is to pinpoint the exact temperature of swelling and correlate this to the mechanical processes involved in the fabrication of these different tapes. Fundamental physical properties of superconductors have been included to reinforce the need for finding the exact temperature of swelling and to give the reader a short background on superconductivity, however, explanation of actual physical behavior of superconductors has been omitted due to the complexity behind these interactions. Procedures for fabricating the superconducting tapes have also been included due to their actual implementation as part of the project and due to its influence on the final superconducting characteristics of the tapes.