11 December 2015

Quench analysis of pancake-wound REBCO coils with low resistance between turns

Transient circumferential solenoid current revealed by the analysis. Transient circumferential solenoid current revealed by the analysis.

New calculations that reveal the workings of a new type of high-field research magnet will aid in future magnet designs.

What did scientists discover?

Quench in a superconducting coil is the rapid transition from the superconducting to the normal state. Quench can potentially destroy the magnet. New calculations have revealed the nature of quench in the cutting-edge technology of high-temperature superconductor magnet coils. The propagation of the quench progresses from a slow heating to a rapid electromagnetic process that resembles a wave that quickly engulfs the entire coil. This "tsunami quench" prevents local overheating and coil destruction.

Why is this important?

The future superconducting magnet technology lies with high-temperature / high-field superconductors. Yet, in the past, quench protection has been a problem with these conductors. Our new ability to calculate quench in these coils leads to increased understanding and the ability to design quench protection. This study finds that high-temperature superconductor magnets made with no insulation or low-resistance insulation exhibit dramatic improvements in magnet performance during a quench.

Who did the research?

W. D. Markiewicz, J. J. Jaroszynski, D. V. Abraimov, R. E. Joyner, and A. Khan

National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

Why did they need the MagLab?

The future of the MagLab and the future of high-field magnets run together. The calculations reported here are part of the overall MagLab program to advance high-field magnets, made possible by the cutting-edge and collective research on superconducting materials and superconducting magnet technologies at the MagLab.

Details for scientists


This research was funded by the following grants: Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490)

For more information, contact Denis Markiewicz.


  • Research Area: Magnet Technology, Superconductivity - Applied
  • Research Initiatives: Materials
  • Facility / Program: MS&T
  • Year: 2015
Last modified on 15 December 2015