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BD-09: Developing a procedure for the manufacture of superconductive contacts for new magnetic resonance imaging scanners

Developing a procedure for the manufacture of superconductive contacts for new magnetic resonance imaging scanners

The MRI systems currently in use contain around 1 000 liters of liquid helium to cool the superconductive magnets. If cooling were possible with significantly less helium, there would be no need for the pressure vessel. The systems' inner bore could be larger, bringing benefits to both patients and staff. This goal can be achieved by using magnet wires with the new superconductive material MgB2. It works at much higher temperatures than conventional superconductors, thus making cooling easier. A reliable method is needed to connect the wires from the various magnetic coils in such a way as to ensure superconductivity. The aim of the project is to develop such a contacting process.

Operations involved:

  1. Characterize the magnet wire, treat the wire ends, carry out powder characterization.
  2. Test manufacturing steps, manufacture first contacts, carry out resistive and inductive tests, perform chemical and microscopic analysis.
  3. Optimize contact properties, test process reproducibility, transfer to production.

While Siemens CT in Erlangen is developing a contacting method, Siemens H is characterizing the MgB2 magnet wire, and winding and testing test coils; if this step is successful, a first MRI magnet system will subsequently be designed. This system will then be used to assess whether MgB2-based systems with significantly less helium represent a technically feasible and economically viable alternative.

Project Duration

01.01.2011 - 30.09.2013

Project Partners

  • Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Sector Corporate Technology

Contact

Marijn Oomen
Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Healthcare

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