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 ARGONNE, Ill., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Joint research between a private corporation and a federal laboratory has produced a new world record for the strongest magnetic field ever generated by high- temperature superconductors.
 Intermagnetics General Corp. (IGC) (AMEX: IMG), Guilderland, N.Y., and the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have made a coil assembly of high-temperature superconductors that produces a magnetic field of 2.6 tesla, more than 78,000 times stronger than the earth's magnetic field, when cooled by liquid helium.
 The new record breaks the old one -- 1.65 tesla, nearly 50,000 times stronger than the earth's magnetic field -- announced by IGC and Argonne last August.
 The new record was produced by assembling 10 coil modules and connecting them electrically. The full magnet assembly contains about 525 yards (480 meters) of high-temperature superconductor, a material that loses all resistance to electricity when cooled by liquid nitrogen.
 Potential uses for high-temperature superconducting coils include efficient motors and generators, energy-storage devices and improved magnetic imaging systems for medical diagnosis.
 IGC and Argonne are in the midst of a two-year joint research and technology transfer project to develop ways to make practical and longer lengths of superconducting wire and tape.
 Goal of the joint project is to learn how to make practical superconducting wire at least 100 yards long that can be shaped into coils for magnets and other uses, said IGC President Carl H. Rosner. The program continues to be ahead of schedule.
 Each of the 10 coil modules is made of three superconducting tapes 18 yards (16.5 meters) long. Each module contains 70 turns of superconducting tape around a one-inch (2.54 cm) diameter central bore and has an outer diameter of 4.4 inches (11.3 cm).
 In tests at Argonne and IGC, the magnet assembly carried 234 amps of current and generated a record 2.6 tesla magnetic field at 452 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (4.2 degrees Kelvin). At 410 F below zero (27 degrees Kelvin) and 312 F below zero (77 degrees Kelvin), the magnet assembly carried 160 and 32 amps, respectively, and generated magnetic fields of 1.8 and 0.36 tesla.
 The coil's "amp-turn" measure is the highest ever achieved by a high-temperature superconducting coil, said Argonne scientist Utham Balachandran. "Amp-turns" -- the product of current, measured in amps, and the number of conductor turns -- is a commonly used measure of magnetic coil design and performance.
 The superconducting tape is made from superconducting powders of bismuth-lead-strontium-calcium-copper oxide developed by Argonne and IGC. IGC encases the powder in a silver tube and processes the metal-ceramic composite into tape.
 The fabrication process developed IGC and Argonne has produced long lengths of relatively strong silver-clad high-temperature superconductors that carry enough current for practical applications.
 The project is funded jointly by Intermagnetics and DOE's Office of Utility Technologies. DOE provides $1 million to support work at Argonne and $500,000 for work at Intermagnetics, which contributes $500,000 of its own corporate funds.
 Intermagnetics General is a leading manufacturer of superconducting magnets, wire, and associated ultra-low-temperature refrigeration equipment, the combination of which is useful in medical diagnostic imaging systems. The company is dedicated to development and commercialization of applied superconducting systems and also manufactures low-temperature refrigeration system, permanent magnet systems and materials-separation devices.
 Argonne has the nation's largest publicly funded program in basic and applied superconductivity research. With more than 200 different research programs in basic and applied science, Argonne is the largest federally funded scientific laboratory in the Midwest.
 Argonne National Laboratory is operated by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Utham Balachandran is a resident of Hinsdale, Ill./
 /CONTACT: Dave Baurac of Argonne, 708-252-5584; or Carl Rosner of IGC, 518-456-5456/

CO: Intermagnetics General Corp.; Argonne National Laboratory ST: Illinois, New York IN: OIL SU:

TW -- NY050 -- 9730 01/06/94 11:43 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 6, 1994

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