We have defined a rigorous and reliable method for determining the irreversible strain limit of Nb3Sn wires. The critical current (Ic) is measured as a function of applied longitudinal strain (ε), Ic(ε), at one magnetic field and a temperature of 4.0 K. The sample is loaded and partially unloaded at progressively higher strain levels to determine the irreversible strain limit, εirr, which is defined as the maximum loaded strain where Ic is still reversible. Our method uses a polynomial fit of the loaded Ic(ε) to derive the Ic residuals for the loaded and unloaded points that are analyzed to determine the limit of irreversibility. The effect of varying the amount of strain unloading was also studied. The possibility and issues of using the strain dependent n-value (indicating the steepness of the electric field-current, E-I, curve) to determine εirr are discussed. The method presented here has proven to be appropriate and the εirr results are repeatable for many types of commercial Nb3Sn wires. This method can also be more generally used to determine εirr for any brittle low-temperature or high-temperature superconducting material.
Citation: Superconductor Science and Technology
Pub Type: Journals
Axial strain, critical current, irreversible strain limit, niobium-tin, n-value