An Experimental Mechanical Switch for 3 kA Driven by Superconducting Coils

  • Herman H. J. ten Kate
  • Bennie ten Haken
  • Louis J. M. van de Klundert
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 31)


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.


Contact Resistance Switch Resistance Mechanical Switch Test Arrangement Coil Current 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman H. J. ten Kate
    • 1
  • Bennie ten Haken
    • 1
  • Louis J. M. van de Klundert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied PhysicsTwente University of TechnologyEnschedeThe Netherlands

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