Metal forming technology for the fabrication of seamless Superconducting radiofrequency cavities for particle accelerators
Legnaro National Laboratories, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and Università di Padova, Italy
The world of Particle accelerators is rather unique, since in a few high-energy Physics great laboratories, such at CERN for example, there have been built the largest technological installations ever conceived by humankind. The Radiofrequency resonant cavities are the pulsing heart of an accelerator. In case of superconducting accelerators, bulk niobium cavities, able to perform accelerating gradients up to 40 MeV/m, are just a jewel of modern technology. The standard fabrication technology foresees the cutting of circular blanks, their deep-drawing into half-cells, and its further joining by electron beam welding under ultra high vacuum environment that takes several hours. However, proposals such as the International Linear Collider, to which more than 900 scientists from all over the world participate, foresee the installation of 20.000 cavities. In numbers, it means the electron beam weld one by one under Ultra High Vacuum of 360,000 hemi-cells. At a cost of 500 €/Kg of high purity Niobium, this will mean a couple of hundreds of millions of Euros only for the bare material. In this panorama it is evident that a cost reducing approach must be considered. In alternative the author has proposed a seamless and low cost fabrication method based on spinning of fully resonators. Preliminary RF tests at low temperatures have proved that high accelerating gradients are achievable and that they are not worse than those obtainable with the standard technology. Nevertheless up to when the next accelerator will be decided to be built there is still room for improvement.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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