Wire Development Group to Receive 2000 Collaboration Award
Although almost 100 times smaller in cross section, three strands of American Superconductor's multifilamentary HTS wire can transmit as much electric current as a conventional copper cable. [Photograph courtesy of American Superconductor.
The University-Industry-Government Laboratory Interaction (UIGLI) Committee of the Council for Chemical Research has selected the Wire Development Group (WDG) as the winner of the 2000 Collaboration Success Award. The group, formed in 1991, is composed of American Superconductor, Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and University of Wisconsin.
The group was originally established to develop the materials science base required to commercialize a first generation of high temperature superconducting wires based on silver-sheathed (Bi,Pb)2Sr2Ca2Cu3Ox (Bi-2223) composites. During nine years of collaborative research, the WDG has made major contributions towards understanding critical issues in the fabrication of the Ag/Bi-2223 conductor. The group was among the first to elucidate aspects of the microstructure that are critical to performance, develop a basic understanding of how the microstructure formed through the fabrication process, and optimize manufacturing processes to improve the structure in ways that ultimately led to improved performance.
This research played a key role in American Superconductor's (ASC) establishment of a leadership position in reliable HTS wire manufacturing. The Ag/Bi-2223 composite wire produced by ASC has set a new worldwide performance standard, and has been used in the first generation of HTS electric power systems, such as transmission lines, motors, transformers, and fault current limiters. The sum total of corporate (ASC) and government investment in the WDG project over the past nine years has been in the range of $1.6 million per year, with an equal split between industry and government. This investment has played a very important role in allowing ASC to become the premier manufacturer of HTS wire and has provided a major impetus for the continued development of HTS to enable broad commercialization of a new materials technology. .
The Collaboration Success Award will be presented to WDG representatives at CCR's Annual Meeting in New Orleans on Sunday, September 10. The award was established last year by UIGLI to recognize successful research collaborations between two or three sectors (industry-academia-government labs).
Source. Council for Chemical Research
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