To expedite the commercialization of coated conductors, a robust stacking architecture of the wires must be developed and the performance of the critical currents improved. More importantly, the manufacturability, or large-scale delivery, and the capability of sustaining production at a high rate must be considered. The products of three companies, American Superconductor, Superpower Inc., and Sunam Co., Ltd, were selected because these companies have announced commercial-grade production lines and delivered a significant amounts of wires to the open market that meet the standards demanded by power devices. X-ray diffraction patterns were used to verify the structural properties and the phase formation in the wires, and transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy was used to investigate the microstructure and composition of the conductors. In addition, Raman scattering spectroscopy was used for the analysis of the phase formation and for the elucidation of secondary phases in the superconducting layers. The field dependence of the critical current was also studied to compare the transport characteristics under relatively low and medium magnetic field at 77 K and 60 K. Pinning forces were obtained from the field dependence of transport properties and pinning characteristics were investigated. The theoretical and experimental analyses were combined together using the Dew-Hughes formula to extract the scaling exponents and estimate the irreversibility lines of the fields. The results showed that the three conductors possess pinning mechanisms that originate from core pinning with a surface pinning geometry. It is remarkable that the wires discussed in this paper exhibit very similar pinning characteristics even though they have different characteristics in terms of chemical composition, microstructure, stacking architectures, and distribution of parasitic phases.
- commercial-grade coated conductors
- field dependence
- pinning characteristics