Tuesday, July 30, 2002
The major developments relevant to producing MgB2 conductors over the past few months have been the reports of new YB4 precipitate and the Si+C co-solution methods. These both improve Jc and Hirr in higher fields (above 1T), and are thus potentially useful for rotating machinery applications.
The YB4 paper from Imperial was published on April 22, 2002, showing TEM pictures of precipitates from Wisconsin; and the surprising solubility of SiC was first posted by Wollongong on June 24, 2002.
Initial electric power products made using MgB2 conductors are likely to be iron-cored, and thus limited to less than 1.6T, but attracting investment to developing the material is likely to depend on the possibility of developing iron-free, high field machines in later years. Thus these alloying improvements are good news for the long term future of the material.