Journal article

Applicability of Non-Destructive Examination to Iter TF Joints Nb3Sn

The Iter TF joints are of a twin-box design and the critical parameters of the overall resistance are 1) the contact between cable and termination, and 2) the resistance between two terminations. This paper describes applicability of non-destructive examination (NDE) to these joints. The TFEU joint was adapted to make the joint demountable and the contact area was artificially degraded. The TFEU Joint was measured in the range 30-70 kA, 0-6 T. With no artificial degradation, the resistance of the TFEU Joint was measured to be better than the inter-pancake criterion of 3 nΩ at 2 T, 68 kA. At high fields (6 T) the voltage-current (V I) characteristic of the joint is nonlinear and the resistance is higher than expected. The nonlinearity is worse when the joint is artificially degraded. An FEA model was used to demonstrate that the magneto-resistant copper's contribution to the overall joint resistance is low (<  1 nΩ) and does not explain the high field behavior. The nonlinear V I behavior is due to poor current redistribution within the joint, which is related to the resistance of the strand-bundle to copper interface. CRPP is developing a room temperature NDE technique based on resistance profiles to investigate this interface. Resistance measurements at low current and field, or high current and low field, do not guarantee performance at high field; joint tests under the operating conditions are required. Tests on the upper terminations of the TFEU Joint showed that large defects in the contact area between two terminations could be tolerated, when the joint has a good strand-bundle to copper contact resistance and effective current redistribution.


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