An Experimental Mechanical Switch for 3 kA Driven by Superconducting Coils
Usually mechanical switches that are built for use in superconducting circuits are driven in some way by a rod which is controlled at room temperature. In this paper, an alternative method to drive the electrodes of the switch is reported. In fact the new device is a superconducting relay that uses an antiseries connection of two superconducting air-core coils. The repulsing force of these relay coils enables the switch to be closed by applying a pressure to the electrodes. The off-state is effected by a set of springs which interrupt the electrodes when the coil current is switched off. We realized that this electro-magnetic method of producing large forces could be promising for driving a mechanical switch. The desired method was demonstrated by an experimental model. A switch-on resistance of 8 ß 10−8 Ω with a switch current of 3 kA and a contact force of 20 kN was measured.
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