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The MagLab is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida.

Studying the Microstructure of Glidcop® AL-60 Conductor

Published August 15, 2022

Electron microscope images of Glidcop® conductor
Electron microscope images of Glidcop® conductor

The MagLab's ultrahigh-field pulsed magnets require materials with both high mechanical strength and high electrical conductivity. One of these materials is Glidcop® AL-60, an alumina particle strengthened copper. This research studies the microstructure of this material to improve the construction and endurance of these magnets.

What did scientists discover?

Researchers identified two types of alumina particles in Glidcop AL-60. They are α-Al2O3 and metastable cubic η-Al2O3 with average sizes of 200 and 10 nm respectively. The η-Al2O3 nanoparticles are of triangular shape, with a well-defined crystal orientation relative to the Copper matrix. The dislocations observed around the alumina particles suggest that alumina particles resist dislocation movement, providing the main strengthening mechanism for the conductor. Microcracks near large particles evidence a detrimental effect of too-large particles on the fatigue life of AL-60.

Why is this important?

Ultrahigh-field pulsed magnets require high-strength, high-conductivity conductors like Glidcop®AL-60, a copper conductor strengthened by alumina particles. Identification of both the type and the distribution of alumina particles has been contributing to the improvement of both the fabrication and the endurance of conductors used in 65T short pulsed, 60T controlled-waveform, and 100T pulsed magnets.

Who did the research?

Yan Xin1, Jun Lu1, and Ke Han1

1National High Magnetic Field Laboratory;

Why did the MagLab need to do this research?

The MagLab has a world-leading team of researchers to study high-strength, high-conductivity materials relevant to high-field magnets. The MagLab also hosts a state-of-the art electron microscopy facility. The R&D enabled by this expertise and instrumentation is essential to continued improvement of the performance of ultra-high field pulsed magnets for the scientific community.

Details for scientists


This research was funded by the following grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1644779)

For more information, contact Mark Bird.

Last modified on 29 December 2022