Fabricating MgB2 Superconductors Using Spark Plasma Sintering and Pulse Magnetization

Magnesium diboride (MgB2) has the potential to be affordable and widely produced superconductors for various applications. However, its porous nature limits its superconducting properties. Recently, a multi-national team of scientists used spark plasma sintering, a high-pressure technique to fabricate highly dense, non-porous MgB2 bulks that can withstand larger forces and have an enhanced ability to hold and trap a magnetic field, paving the way for the development of super-magnets for lightweight portable applications.

Now in a study published in Materials Science and Engineering: B, researchers from Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan, enhanced the trapped magnetic field in bulk MgB2superconductors by fabricating highly dense, non-porous MgB2 bulks. Using spark plasma sintering (SPS), the researchers heated commercially available MgB2 powder with pulsed electrical current at high pressures of 50 MPa. The results were fascinating: “It is the first study in which large, 40 mm diameter MgB2 bulks with 99.8% packing ratio were fabricated via SPS,” explains Prof. Muralidhar Miryala, who led the study. 

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