NEWTON, Mass., May 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- H.C. Starck's niobium and tantalum materials will be introduced at the Cryogenics and Superconductivity Conference Japan 2015 in Tsukuba, Japan on May 27-28. These materials are tailor-made for low temperature superconductor (LTS) wire manufacturing where cryogenic cooling is required.
"H.C. Starck is a global leader in conflict free tantalum and niobium metals and we are well-positioned to serve the superconductor market. Our research engineers developed unique materials and extrusion processes for superconductor wire used in several leading projects in fusion energy and large-scale particle accelerators. The intrinsic characteristics of these materials are facilitating the research efforts and H.C. Starck is excited to be part of it," said Dmitry Shashkov, Member of H.C. Starck's Executive Board and Head of the Fabricated Products Division.
The main role of tantalum in superconductors is to form a stable and reliable diffusion barrier between the copper (Cu) matrix and tin (Sn). The barrier starts as a sheet of tantalum (Ta) whose thickness will be reduced through the entire process of drawing to only a fraction of its initial thickness. It's critical that the Ta layer remains intact preventing direct contact between the Cu and Sn. The initial thickness uniformity, surface quality, microstructure and mechanical properties are of vital importance.
In the manufacturing of superconducting wire, the niobium sheet is typically used as a diffusion barriers between Cu and Sn, while niobium rods are mainly used to generate the Nb3Sn superconducting compound. These components must have strictly controlled mechanical properties, surface roughness and chemical composition. These characteristics facilitate processing and ensure a high quality superconductor wire.
Niobium and tantalum are preferred materials for superconducting applications, especially in MRI and NMR medical equipment, magnetic levitation, mass spectroscopy, particle accelerators, and nuclear fusion research equipment.
About H.C. Starck www.hcstarck.com
The H.C. Starck Group is a leading global supplier of technology metals and advanced ceramics, and serves growing industries such as the electronics, chemicals, automotive, medical technology, aerospace, energy technology, and environmental technology industries, as well as engineering companies and tool manufacturers, from its own manufacturing facilities located in Europe, America, and Asia. In 2014, the company employed about 2,700 employees in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.
SOURCE H.C. Starck