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Computational Methods in the Mechanics of Superconducting Materials and Structures

Sergey Kuznetsov, Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Recent development and industrial maturity of high temperature superconductors (HTS) technology paves the way to the creation of high energy superconducting magnets for various applications, including fusion reactors, magnetic energy storage, power transmission, magnetic levitation and propulsion, medical, and other applications. While very appealing, practical use of HTS technology still stays in a highly unexplored area. Superconducting tapes and cables performance under harsh and complex mechanical, thermal and electromagnetic loading conditions remains highly unknown. Increased critical fields, critical current densities in HTS result in high energy concentrations, bringing structural considerations to the first plan. 

Stresses and deformations generated in superconductors and supporting structures during steady-state operation and during off-normal events become primary limiting factors in the superconducting magnets design. Superconductor degradation under mechanical and thermal loadings, strain dependence of critical parameters, possibility of damage and cracking of supporting structures and insulation may significantly deteriorate performance of superconducting magnets and cause irreversible damage. Complex interaction between mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic fields, various nonlinearities result in a complex dynamical behavior of superconducting magnets which have to be understood for successful development of such magnets. Modeling of such phenomena has to rely on efficient and reliable  multiphysics and multiscale methods providing enough details for a reasonable cost.
In this session we invite researchers to discuss reliable and efficient methods to model mechanical and coupled-physics behavior of high temperature superconducting structures, including superconducting materials, structural materials, insulating materials at cryogenic temperatures, methods to characterize such materials and asses their structural health.