Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

High Temperature Superconductor Development


Develop the manufacturing technology for production of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) wires and tapes (silver-sheathed Bi-2212 powders). Apply an intelligent processing of materials (IPM) approach for controls over the HTS manufacturing process.

Technical Approach

This project developed the capability for coil and magnet production including the implementation of manufacturing technologies needed to consistently produce wire and tape with the required geometry, microstructure and superconducting properties. The project was designed to:

  • Develop manufacturing procedures and computer simulation models
  • Develop and implement an IPM system into the wire drawing process
  • Scale-up the prototype manufacturing process
  • Transfer the technology by continuous interaction with commercial manufacturing operations.


The HTS wires and tapes will enable production of prototype coils and magnets to be incorporated into the Navy`s 400 HP motor. This will result in simplified refrigeration requirements for operation at 20 K and simplified ship architecture due to a smaller generator/motor size (50% volume reduction for 10,000 HP generator/motor). Implementation could result in a significant cost reduction from the present $100/KAMP-M to $10/KAMP-M at production quantities.


Long-length (up to 1 km) HTS wires and tapes will be used to fabricate full-scale magnets for Navy applications. Potential industrial use that will benefit from technology transfer include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the medical industry; energy storage devices in the electric utility industry; elevated magnetic trains in the transportation industry; and magnetic separators in the metal extraction and recycling industries. The technology will be transferred to commercial manufacturers of superconductors. The NCEMT will also provide conductor manufacturing process simulation codes to commercial firms and transfer advanced sensors and process control technology to industry through workshops, publications and in-house training. The manufacturing technology for production of HTS tapes was successfully developed and demonstrated at the end of FY96. The NCEMT successfully demonstrated a functional IPM system on a wire drawing machine in an IPM/HTS workshop in July 1997. The advanced sensors, process model (embedded in the Expert System) and the process controller, using both the manual and automatic mode of operation, have been demonstrated in an online application.