Description: Superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities made from niobium and cooled with liquid helium are becoming key components of many particle accelerators. The helium vessels surrounding the RF cavities, portions of the niobium cavities themselves, and also possibly the vacuum vessels containing these assemblies, generally fall under the scope of local and national pressure vessel codes. In the U.S., Department of Energy rules require national laboratories to follow national consensus pressure vessel standards or to show ''a level of safety greater than or equal to'' that of the applicable standard. Thus, while used for its superconducting properties, niobium ends up being treated as a low-temperature pressure vessel material. Niobium material is not a code listed material and therefore requires the designer to understand the mechanical properties for material used in each pressure vessel fabrication; compliance with pressure vessel codes therefore becomes a problem. This report summarizes the approaches that various institutions have taken in order to bring superconducting RF cryomodules into compliance with pressure vessel codes. In Japan, Germany, and the U.S., institutions building superconducting RF cavities integrated in helium vessels or procuring them from vendors have had to deal with pressure vessel requirements being applied to SRF vessels, including the niobium and niobium-titanium components of the vessels. While niobium is not an approved pressure vessel material, data from tests of material samples provide information to set allowable stresses. By means of procedures which include adherence to code welding procedures, maintaining material and fabrication records, and detailed analyses of peak stresses in the vessels, or treatment of the vacuum vessel as the pressure boundary, research laboratories around the world have found methods to demonstrate and document a level of safety equivalent to the applicable pressure vessel codes.
Date: June 7, 2011
Creator: Peterson, Thomas; Klebaner, Arkadiy; Nicol, Tom; Theilacker, Jay; /Fermilab; Hayano, Hitoshi et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department