Highly Densified MgB2 Bulks by Reactive Mg Liquid Infiltration
The issues in the conventional sintering of the MgB2 superconductors have conducted to the discovery of a new way to densify this material. The new process is an “in situ” method that relies on the reactive liquid infiltration (RLI) of liquid Magnesium into Boron powders packed preform. The RLI process allows to obtain highly dense manufacts without the use of hot pressing apparatus and can be applied to the manufacture of large superconducting pieces. One of the peculiarities of the MgB2 superconductivity, that withstand up to 39 K, is represented by the relative insensitiveness of the supercurrent percolation to the orientation of the grain boundaries. This property allows to use polycrystalline material without loosing superconducting performance, granted that a good connectivity between the crystalline grains must be realized, as the RLI process allows to do. The microstructure of the bulk material obtained by RLI shows a variety of morphologies, according to the kind of the used Boron powders and to the process variables. A detailed analysis of the microstructure of the MgB2 obtained by RLI will be presented, as well as its analytical description and the correlation with the superconducting characteristics.
P. VINCENZINI and A. RIGAMONTI
G. Giunchi et al., "Highly Densified MgB2 Bulks by Reactive Mg Liquid Infiltration", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 47, pp. 7-16, 2006