jeudi 28 juillet 2016

New furnace a step towards future collider development

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

July 28, 2016

A new furnace arrived at CERN’s Large Magnet Facility last month and is currently being installed and tested.

The furnace completes the equipment required for the production of superconducting coils, which are needed for the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) upgrade and future circular colliders.

Superconducting accelerator magnets are key for reaching higher energies and luminosities in particle accelerators.

Image above: The new furnace is currently being installed and tested. (Image: Friedrich Lackner/CERN).

The HL-LHC upgrade aims for magnetic fields up to 11T for the dipole magnets while the Future Circular Collider study explores using magnets with a field of 16 Tesla, almost double the 8.3 Tesla of the superconducting magnets used in the LHC.

To reach these goals new superconducting materials are needed.

“Nb3Sn has been chosen for the next generation of superconducting magnets. The field achieved with this material can reach up to 16T. The production of such coils is complex as we must first wind the coils and then perform the heat treatment that allows the tin and niobium to react and turn into the superconducting Nb3Sn compound.” explains Friedrich Lackner, a project engineer who supervises the coil production for HL-LHC.

Once the material has undergone this heat treatment it becomes very brittle, which is why this process is performed after the winding process — the opposite to magnets in the LHC.

The new 32-metre-long furnace, called GL010000, will allow the heat treatment of coils with a length up to 11m and can reach temperatures up to 900°C providing a sufficient margin for future challenges.

This treatment involves a two week long process during which the coils are raised to different temperature plateaus up to 665°C. A special feature of this oven is that it is able to raise the coils to such high temperatures completely uniformly throughout the entire oven, making sure one part doesn’t heat more or less than another.

The installation of the new furnace at CERN’s Large Magnet Facility (LMF) will help scientists researching and developing the new materials needed for future colliders to understand the superconductor development based on this  Nb3Sn alloy, and will allow CERN to lead the production of superconducting coils and the development of high-field magnets.


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 22 Member States.

Related links:

High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC):

Future Circular Collider study:


For more information about the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), visit:

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: CERN/Harriet Jarlett, Panagiotis Charitos.

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