Spark plasma synthesis and sintering of superconducting MgB 2-based Materials Conference Paper uri icon


  • Superconducting (SC) and mechanical properties of spark plasma (or SPS) produced MgB2 –based materials allow their efficient applications in fault current limiters, superconducting electromotors, pumps, generators, magnetic bearings, etc. The synthesized from Mg and B at 50 MPa, 1050 °C for 30 min material has a density of 2.52 g/cm3, critical current density, jc = 7.1•105 A/cm2 at 10 K , 5.4 •105 A/cm2 at 20 K, and 9•104 A/cm2 at 35 K in zero magnetic field; at 20 K its field of irreversibility Birr(20)=7 T and upper critical field Bc2(20)=11 T; microhardness HV=10.5 GPa and fracture toughness K1C =1.7 MPa•m1/2 at 4.9 N-load. SPS-manufactured in- situ MgB2-based materials usually have somewhat higher jc than sintered ex-situ. The pressure variations from 16 to 96 MPa during the SPS-process did not affect material SC characteristics significantly; the jc at 10-20 K was slightly higher and the material density was higher by 11%, when pressures of 50-96 MPa were used. The structure of SPS-produced MgB2 material contains Mg-B-O inclusions and inclusions of higher borides (of compositions near MgB4, MgB7, MgB12, MgB17, MgB20), which can be pinning centers. The presence of higher borides in the MgB2 structure can be revealed by the SEM and Raman spectroscopy.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012