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Engineering > R&D Results

R&D results are listed below, organized by where the testing was performed.  Sites include: CTD, ORNL, PPPL, NHFML and UT.


CTD is conducting tests to characterize the compacted cable conductor being used in the modular coils.  Preliminary results are provided in the documents below.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Fiber optic strain gages tests.  ORNL is qualifying FIZO gages for use at cryogenic temperatures.  The first step is to qualify a procedure for attaching the gages to the substrate.  The second step is to test whether they work at 80K.

Shim Plate tests.  Shim plates were fabricated and pulled in a test fixture to determine load-deflection characteristics.  The first round of tests were completed in August 2006.



28 August 2006 First round of shim plate tests

Beam tests. Beam samples were constructed that were representative of a modular coil winding pack.  The first sample used the old (large) conductor.  Testing of this sample was useful for shaking down the test apparatus and procedure.  Subsequently, beams constructed using the current conductor were tested.  HM Fan attempted to model the test setup in ANSYS.  He found the a substantially lower shear modulus was required to match the observed deflections.



10 Dec 2004

08 Dec 2004

19 Nov 2004

05 Nov 2004

Derived properties (Fan)

14 Nov 2004 Test results from ORNL
20 Sept 2003 Thermal conductivity test results

UT test coil. A test coil was fabricated at UT and is being tested at ORNL to compare the actual cooldown rates with the predicted cooldown rates. A draft report is provided below.



24 July 2003 Testing of the UT coil
20 Sept 2003 Thermal conductivity test results


Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)

Supernut torque v. load.  Test results may be viewed here

Alumina shim friction testing.  Test results of the alumina coated shims may be viewed here.  Characterization of the surface roughness is provided here.

C1 coil testing.  The C1 coil was cooled to LN2 temperatures and tested on June 15-16, 2006.  The test report and test data may be reviewed  here.

VV Closure Weld Configuration.  Weld tests were performed to optimize the final weld configuration.  The final report may be viewed here.

Casting alloy CTE. Tom Kozub performed measurements of the CTE of the casting alloys developed by JP Pattern (Waukesha foundry) and EIO (MetalTek foundry).  Results may be viewed by clicking here.

Casting alloy mechanical properties.  The elastic modulus, yield strength, and tensile strength of Stellalloy are documented here.

Conductor CTE.  Steve Raftopoulos set up an experiment to determine the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) of the copper/epoxy composite. The contraction of an impregnated bar when cooled from room to liquid nitrogen temperature (294 to 77 K) was measured. The following data was recorded.

Room temperature - 21C (294 K)
Room temperature length of bar - 32.424"
LN2 temperature length of bar - 32.323"

This calculates to a cooldown strain of -3115 microstrain which is slightly less than the CTD data.

Conductor Testing.  Tom Kozub and Steve Jurczynski have been performing tests to determine conductor material properties and endurance limits.  The raw data and presentation material are available through the hyperlinks in the table below.



26 April 2005 Cyclic testing of racetrack coils wound with modular coil cable conductor (report)
15 December 2004 Single conductor shear modulus tests (presentation)
13 May 2004 Long RT cyclic tested at 77K (presentation)
05 April 2004 Axial compression tests (presentation)
22 March 2004 Longitudinal shear and flexure tests beyond yield (presentation)
15 March 2004 Flexure tests - bare conductor (presentation, raw data)
08 March 2004 Flexure tests - insulated conductor (raw data)

Scanning Electron Micrographs.  A scanning electron microscope has been used to take pictures of the epoxy penetration into the interstitial regions between strands in the compacted cable conductor.  The pictures provided by Jim Chrzanowski on 18 March 2004 may be viewed by clicking here.

Keystoning tests. Keystoning tests are being conducted at PPPL to predict keystoning (conductor deformation) as a function of bend radius.



21 May 2004 Keystone tests with 0.414" x 0.386" insulated conductor

18 February 2004

Keystone test results with 0.345' x 0.375" conductor - single half-lapped insulation

19 August 2003

Keystone test results - single half-lapped insulation

30 July 2003

Keystone test results - insulated conductor (easy way)

Conductor dimensions before winding

28 July 2003

Keystone test results - uninsulated conductor

17 July 2003

Keystone test results

18 June 2003

First spiral pancake trials

30 April 2003

Single versus 4-rope conductor

Post-cure strain measurements. Below is the data from the pre and post impregnation measurements that were taken on the four-bundle, test specimen bars. The FARO arm was used to measure the distance between monuments that were installed onto the ends of the bars. Subsequent to calibration, a measurement error of 0.007" was established for the FARO arm in this particular configuration. Three sets of measurements were taken with the bars in the impregnation mold. Each set consisted of either 3 or 4 individual measurements of each of the six bars. The first set was taken prior to impregnation at 21 C. The second set was taken post impregnation (during cool-down) at approximately 24 C. The third set was taken post impregnation at 21 C. The change in length averages out to slightly less that -0.04%.




24 July 2003 Post-cure strain measurements

Twisted Racetrack Coil (TRC). The TRC was a prototype that provided a wealth of experience and and performance data for the modular coils. An index of TRC results is provided here.

University of Tennessee (UT)

UT is conducting a variety of R&D for the QPS project.  The results of those tests may also be relevant to NCSX and are provided below.



24 July 2003 Initial testing of UT coil

01 July 2003

Flexure stiffness tests

Cure induced stresses


National High Field Magnet Laboratory (NHFML)

The NHFML has condcuted test to determine the crack growth parameters of the casting alloy used in the modular coils.



07 July 2005 Crack growth test results



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