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The brittle intermetallic Nb3Sn superconductor is currently being used to develop high field magnets in the framework of the Hi-Luminosity upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Despite its excellent superconductive properties, Nb3Sn wires suffer from significant critical current Ic reduction due to the transverse load applied during the magnets’ assembly and energization. To characterize the electro-mechanical behaviour of Nb3Sn wires and cables under transversal stress, dedicated experimental campaigns have been performed at CERN and in other laboratories in the last years. These campaigns often rely on complex setups operating at extreme conditions making it difficult to properly monitor all the variables of interest, with particular reference to the strain state of the superconductor itself that plays a key role in the result interpretation. FEM numerical simulations are a powerful tool that side experimental investigation to better understand the macro and micro mechanics influencing the superconductor behaviour.
In this seminar, an overview of the numerical models being developed in the TE-MSC-SCD section to characterize Nb3Sn cables and strands under transverse pressure will be presented. The numerical results will be compared with the experimental data obtained at CERN and other partner laboratories.