Successful performances of the EU-AltTF sample, a large size Nb3Sn cable-in-conduit conductor with rectangular geometry
One of the design features which yet offers interesting margins for performance optimization of cable-in-conduit conductors (CICCs), is their geometry. For relatively small size Nb3Sn CICCs, operating at high electromagnetic pressure, such as those for the EDIPO project, it has been experimentally shown that a design based on a rectangular layout with higher aspect ratio leads to the best performance, especially in terms of degradation with electromagnetic loads. To extend this analysis to larger size Nb3Sn CICCs, we manufactured and tested, in the SULTAN facility, an ITER toroidal field (TF) cable, inserted into a thick stainless steel tube and then compacted to a high aspect ratio rectangular shape. Besides establishing a new record in Nb3Sn CICC performances for ITER TF type cables, the very good test results confirmed that the conductor properties improve not only by lowering the void fraction and raising the cable twist pitch, as already shown during the ITER TFPRO and the EDIPO test campaigns, but also by the proper optimization of the conductor shape with respect to the electromagnetic force distribution. The sample manufacturing steps, along with the main test results, are presented here.