Microstructural Refinement of Niobium for Superconducting RF Cavities
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The mechanical properties of commercial polycrystalline pure niobium sheet used for superconducting radiofrequency cavities are known to provide inconsistent yield, springback and surface smoothness characteristics when plastically formed into a radiofrequency cavity. These inconsistent properties lead to significant variations in cavity geometry and thus superconducting cavity performance. One approach to reduce these problems is to refine the microstructure so that its properties are more uniform. Microstructural refinement of Nb sheet for RF cavities using multi-axis severe plastic deformation via equal channel angular extrusion (ECAE) was examined. ECAE was performed on 25 mm square cross-section bars of Reactor Grade Nb in a right angle die at room temperature following different extrusion routes to true strains above nine. This heavily worked material was rolled to 4 mm thick sheet and recrystallized. Measurements of hardness, springback, texture, and microstructural uniformity are reported and compared to those of commercial RRR Grade Nb sheet. Preliminary results show noteworthy promise for bulk Nb processed via severe plastic deformation prior to sheet rolling. © 2007 IEEE.
author list (cited authors)
Hartwig, K. T., Wang, J., Baars, D. C., Bieler, T. R., Mathaudhu, S. N., & Barber, R. E.