Critical current test results of 13 T-46 kA Nb3Al cable-in-conduit conductor
In the framework of ITER-EDA, a 13 T-46 kA Nb3Al conductor with stainless steel jacket has been developed in order to demonstrate applicability of an Nb3Al conductor with react-and-wind technique to ITER-TF coils. Using a 3.5 m sample consisting of a pair of conductors with 0% and 0.4% bending strain, the critical current performances of the Nb3Al conductors were studied to verify that the conductor achieves the expected performance and the bending strain of 0.4% does not originate degradation. The critical currents were measured at background magnetic fields of 7, 9, 10 and 11 T at temperatures from 6 to 9 K. The expected critical currents were evaluated taking into account the variation of the strain in the cross-section due to the bending strain as well as self-field and non-uniform current distribution as results of an imbalance in the joint resistance and inductances. The calculation results indicate that the current distribution is almost uniform and the experimental results showed good agreement with the expected critical currents. Accordingly, we can conclude that the fabrication process of this conductor is appropriate and the react-and-wind technique using the Nb3Al conductor is applicable to ITER-TF coils. In addition, the critical current of the Nb3Al conductor is expected to be 108 kA at 13 T and 4.5 K, resulting in a sufficient margin against the nominal current of 46 kA. Furthermore, it was found that the decrease in the critical current by thermal strain can be made small by applying the bending strain to the conductor so as to reduce the compressive strain at higher fields, i.e. inner side of the coil, in the conductor cross-section. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.