Abstract: Nb3Sn superconductor compound is the most widely used material for generating magnetic fields above 10T. But, this intermetallic compound is obtained by thermal reactions at high temperatures (>2000°C). Therefore, in recent years the researchers have investigated the processes that permit the formation of the Nb3Sn superconducting phases at lower temperatures (<1000°C). The aim of this study was preparation of nanocrystalline Nb3Sn intermetallic compound using mechanical alloying and heat treatment at low temperature. The phase transitions of milled powder before and after the heat treatment were characterized using X-ray diffractometry (XRD). The microstructural analyses were performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The grain size and lattice strain were calculated using the Williamson-hall method. During the milling, mechanical alloying of Nb-Sn elemental powders resulted in the formation of a solid solution, while the heat-treatment led to the formation of Nb3Sn phase. The results showed that Nb3Sn XRD peaks appeared after the heat treatment at 600°C for the powder milled for 10h.

Keywords: Nb3 Sn intermetallic compound, Mechanical alloying, Heat treatment, Nanostructural materials
J. of Nucl Sci. and Tech 71