Advanced Materials Pioneers
AMPeers, short for Advanced Materials Pioneers, provides innovative solutions to a wide range of materials challenges. AMPeers provides consulting and research services, develops new superconductor wire technologies in partnership with University of Houston, and manufactures and delivers unique products such as round high temperature superconductor wires for many applications.
What we do
High Temperature superconductor wire
One area of expertise of AMPeers is superconducting materials. Superconductors are materials that exhibit zero resistance to the flow of electricity. As such, they can be very impactful in applications which can greatly benefit from high electric power density, high magnetic fields, power delivery in an ultra-compact volume, better power quality and high energy efficiency.
High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) are materials that exhibit zero resistance at temperatures above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, which is abundant and inexpensive. HTS wires can carry 300 – 600 times the current carrying capacity of copper wires of the same size.
High Temperature superconductor wire can carry the same amount of current that the copper wires adjacent to it.
Applications of Superconductors
HTS have the potential to provide multiple commercial solutions to a broad spectrum of sectors of the US economy such as energy, defense, industrial applications, communications, and medicine. In the energy sector, for example, HTS devices have the potential to benefit both renewable and non-renewable energy industries, accelerate introduction of smart grid hardware applications and improve sustainability through enhanced energy efficiency, high power density, less CO2 emission, better power quality and improved resiliency and security of the power grid.
Superconductor cables can be used to efficiently transmit power over long distances from remote sources of wind, solar and nuclear power plants, as well as deliver 5 to 10 times more power to congested metropolitan areas and vastly improve production of unconventional petroleum reserves along with substantial reduction in water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The feasibility of offshore wind turbines, operating at 10 MW and higher, improves because of the reduction in size and weight by 50% when using HTS generators. Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) devices have the very real opportunity to enable grid-scale energy storage for effective deployment of intermittent renewable energy sources since they provide the benefits of rapid charging and discharging large amounts of power at higher efficiency and with much longer lifetimes compared to conventional grid-located batteries.
A unique feature of superconductors, namely, zero resistance below a critical current value and a rapid rise in resistance above this value can be deployed as fault current limiters, where they would interrupt power surges in millisecond response times while hardening the Nation’s electric power grid to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
Superconductors enable achievement of ultra-high magnetic fields, even at the levels of tens of Tesla. They enable Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and are now being developed for Proton Beam Therapy. The high magnetic fields enabled by superconductors have led to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) equipment used for identifying the chemical signatures of complex molecules and is widely employed in drug discoveries. Superconducting magnets are also widely used in High Energy Physics in Accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.
STAR Round Superconducting Wires
STAR – Symmetric Tape Round – superconductor wires offer unparalleled electromechanical performance for many high magnetic field and high power applications. STAR wires are the only superconductor wires available today with a diameter of just 1 – 2 mm, bend radius capability of 15 mm, and high critical currents over a wide range of temperatures from 4.2 K to 77 K. Other round superconductor wires cannot be bent to such small diameters or cannot be used at temperatures much higher than 4.2 K.
The enabling technology of STAR wires is a novel symmetric superconductor tape technology developed by AMPeers and its partner, University of Houston. In a symmetric tape architecture, the RE-Ba-Cu-O (REBCO, RE = rare earth) superconductor film is positioned near the neutral plane by an optimum combination of substrate and copper stabilizer thickness. Additionally, the substrate – typically a high-strength alloy such as Hastelloy – is only 18 – 20 µm thick which provides excellent flexibility. Symmetric REBCO tapes can be bent to 0.8 mm in diameter with greater than 95% critical current retention, whereas standard REBCO tapes degrade even below 6 mm bend diameter.
STAR wires exhibit excellent performance in high magnetic fields even when bent to a radius of 15 mm. STAR wires of 1.3 to 2 mm in diameter have been fabricated by winding multiple symmetric REBCO tapes helically on 0.51 - 1.02 mm diameter copper former. An 1.3 mm diameter STAR wire exhibited an engineering current density (Je) of 586 A/mm2 at 20 T. This is the highest reported Je measured at 20 T so far for any round REBCO wire at any bend radius. Another STAR wire of 2.04 mm diameter made with 12 strands of symmetric tape exhibited a critical current (Ic) of 1396 A at 4.2 K, 24 T. Based on its alpha value of 0.77, a Ic of 1615 A is projected at 4.2K at 20 T.
AMPeers has scaled up symmetric REBCO tapes with 18 – 20 µm thick substrate to 100 meters and STAR wires to over 60 meters. An 1.84 mm diameter, 61.5 meter STAR wire has been demonstrated with a Ic of 370A at 77 K. A 23 m long, 1.95 mm diameter STAR wire has been produced with a Ic of 482 A at 77 K.
STAR wires are now being tested for use in ultra-high field accelerator magnets for High Energy Physics and other applications that require magnetic fields beyond 20 Tesla or temperatures above 4.2 K. Such high magnetic fields or higher temperatures are outside the realm of capability of present superconductor wire technology based on Nb-Ti and Nb3Sn. Because of their isotropic mechanical properties and capability to be bent to 15 mm radius, STAR wires can enable complex magnet geometries such as canted cosine theta (CCT). Since STAR wires are comprised of transposed tapes, they are also beneficial for applications requiring low AC losses.
CEC-ICMC 2021 STAR Wire Presentation
Interested candidates can send their CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Postdoctoral Researcher - Houston TX (Posted July 2021)
AMPeers LLC, an advanced materials R&D and manufacturing company, located at the University of Houston Technology Bridge Energy Devices and Fabrication Laboratory is hiring a post-doctoral researcher to work on three new small business innovative research (SBIR) projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Since 2016, AMPeers has been developing and scaling up innovative technologies on advanced superconductors in collaboration with Prof. Selvamanickam’s research group at the University of Houston.
The role of the post-doctoral researcher position at AMPeers is to develop, fabricate and test unique superconductor tapes and wires using advanced materials processes such as metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), ultrafast lasers, magnetron sputtering, roll-to-roll manufacturing and cryogenic electromagnetic and electromechanical testing. Other job responsibilities include preparation of research reports and contribution to proposal development.
Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in an Engineering Discipline or Physics. Experimental research experience in development of advanced materials is highly preferred. Experience in technologies relevant to AMPeers’ portfolio is desirable. Excellent communications skills and strong commitment to safety, quality and project deadlines are very important.
Applicants should submit a complete CV to email@example.com
Manufacturing Engineer - Houston TX (Posted June 2021)
AMPeers LLC, an advanced materials R&D and manufacturing company, located at the University of Houston (UH) Technology Bridge Energy Devices and Fabrication Laboratory is hiring a manufacturing engineer to work on small business innovative research (SBIR) projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Since 2016, AMPeers has been scaling up UH technology to manufacturing and commercialization through SBIR projects in collaboration with UH researchers and engineering staff
( https://www.ampeers-llc.com/ )
The role of the manufacturing engineer position at AMPeers is to fabricate and test unique superconductor tapes and wires using advanced materials processing equipment. Other job responsibilities include optimization of process parameters to improve product quality, design of components and preparation of manufacturing drawings and research reports.
Applicants should hold a B.S. or M.S. in an Engineering Discipline. Hands-on experience in engineering projects is highly preferred. Expertise in design software, especially SolidWorks, is preferred. Excellent communications skills and strong commitment to safety, quality and project deadlines are important.
Applicants should submit a résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org
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