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Established Slovak research institute with novel ultra-lightweight superconductor wire seeks licensees or investors

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Partner keyword: 
Magnetic and superconductor materials/devices
Conductive materials
Generators, electric engines and power converters
Radiation Protection
Other semiconductors
Power transmission equipment (including generators & motors)
Other transportation


Established Slovak scientific and research institutes have developed a novel ultra-lightweight superconductive wire based on magnesium diboride (MgB2) core stabilized with unique aluminum (Al) composite sheath. The preferred cooperation types are license agreement or financial agreement. Specified more in the Partner Sought.



The superconducting effect can be utilized in many applications such as in the space program, aerospace area and energy industry, where for a number of reasons the low rotational and total weight of devices which include superconductive wire is needed. A low weight of the superconductor in such applications yields in a higher efficiency, lower power consumption, higher speeds and acceleration of moving devices. Of all known superconducting materials, MgB2 is the lightest superconducting material of approximately three times lower density compared to e.g., Nb3Sn. Thus, lightweight superconducting wires are naturally designed based on the MgB2 superconducting core. However, nowadays superconductor designs, for example based on NbTi, Nb3Sn as well as MgB2, use a sheath mostly based on Cu, Cu alloys and Cu metal matrix composites (MMC), which has suitable electrical and mechanical properties. However, Cu based sheath, which forms a significant volume portion of the superconducting wire, contributes heavily to the overall mass of the superconductive wire. The use of other metals and alloys as the sheath material, such as niobium (Nb) or steel, also leads to the high weight of superconducting wires. Consequently, even for a lightweight MgB2 core, technical solutions of superconductors which utilize Cu sheath are known. The above-described drawbacks are largely eliminated by the novel superconductor with the MgB2 core and the sheath from Al MMC, wherein the sheath covers at least one MgB2 core, the sheath and the core may be separated by a thin diffusion barrier layer, which may be of various materials e.g., Ti, Ta, Nb, Fe. The principal idea lies in the fact that the superconductor sheath is formed by deformation of the Al MMC in the form of a tube. The tube is being the product of powder metallurgy, wherein the microstructure of the sheath consists of near- or sub-micrometre Al grains, stabilized and strengthened by a small amount of homogeneously dispersed nanometric Al2O3 particles, which forms in situ in Al matrix. Exceptional structural stability ensures that the Al composite sheath material retains the required mechanical properties i.e., high strength together with sufficient ductility, even after MgB2 formation at the temperature of ~650 °C, which is close to the melting point of Al. This can be advantageously utilized in some applications, where there is intense mechanical tensile loading of ultra-lightweight superconductor under cryogenic conditions e.g., in high-field superconducting magnets or cables for the transfer of very large currents. The institutes are looking for an industrial partner to cooperate with via license agreement or financial agreement. Details about preferred types of cooperation are more specified in the Partner Sought

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
Competitive advantages: • significantly lower mass of the superconductor (at least 2.5 - 3 times less) than the standard solutions based on NbTi, Nb3Sn and MgB2 core with an outer copper (Cu) sheath; • economically meaningful fabrication process which is feasible at a large scale; • excellent combination of mechanical properties of the superconductor at room and cryogenic temperatures provided by the superconductor wire sheath; • good superconducting electrical properties and thermal conductivity.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Type: The institutes are seeking an industrial partner for licensing or financing the technology. Field of activity: The novel ultra-lightweight superconductor can be preferably used for technical solutions with moving and rotating parts, for example in transport and power applications, superconducting wind generators, in aerospace, train engines, in superconducting levitation drives, in space program as active shielding of human crew from cosmic radiation. Role of partner: - financial agreement - the financing for the further development of this technology is sought, - license agreement - an industrial partner for licensing of this technology is sought

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500