Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 February 2011
Conventional and chemical processing of the superconducting YBa2Cu3Ox ceramic powders are reviewed. Conditions for calcination, sintering and microstructural development are shown to be important considerations for the superconducting properties of YBa2Cu3Ox ceramics. We examine different forming techniques, e.g. dry pressing, hot pressing, tape casting and screen printing, to prepare superconducting components with different sizes, shapes and configurations. We also identify and discuss problem areas related to incomplete decomposition of BaCo3 precursor; oxidation of YBa2Cu3Ox ceramics; sensitivity of the YBa2Cu3Ox phase to water; reactivity of the YBa2Cu3Ox phase with substrates and co-firing materials; low critical current density in bulk ceramics of YBa2Cu3Ox and low mechanical strength of YBa2Cu3Ox ceramics.
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