Spatial Distribution of Flexural Strength in Y-Ba-Cu-O Bulk Superconductors

05 Jun 2018

In order to determine the spatial distribution of the flexural strength, three-point bend tests have been performed on bar specimens cut from four YBa2Cu3O7-δ single-grain bulk superconductors. A relatively large spread of the room temperature flexural strength, average and standard deviation of 49.3 MPa and 12.7 MPa respectively, was observed across the four bulk samples. This is attributed to the systemic microstructural variation introduced by the seeded melt growth. In particular, the strength was shown to be related to the local porosity and Y2BaCuO5 content. To further examine bulk-to-bulk variability, indirect tensile (Brazilian) tests were conducted on twelve 16 mm diameter bulk superconductors from three production batches. The Weibull modulus for these was calculated to be 8.76, suggesting that, despite the large spread in strength with position within a bulk, the batch processing of bulk superconductors can consistently yield samples with comparable overall mechanical strengths.