Intermagnetics Achieves Key Milestone in Continuous Production of 2G HTS Tape

Intermagnetics Achieves Key Milestone in Continuous Production of 2G HTS Tape
01/07/2002

 

  • Longer Lengths, Higher Performance Expected

Latham, NY - Intermagnetics General Corporation (Nasdaq: IMGC) today announced IGC-SuperPower, LLC achieved a major milestone for calendar year 2001: continuous production of second-generation high-temperature superconducting (HTS) tapes. The second-generation tapes were produced in pilot-scale facilities established at Schenectady, N.Y., a year ago.

“Demonstration of continuous, versus batch, production of second-generation HTS material is a critical stepping stone in SuperPower’s goals of achieving longer lengths of high-performance second-generation HTS tapes and ultimately, routine, volume production of this high-performance material,” said Philip J. Pellegrino, Intermagnetics’ sector president – Energy Technology. “We remain on target to achieve our next objective of 100 amp-meter performance in greater than one-meter lengths during calendar 2002 and are now establishing a 2003 target of 1000 amp-meter performance in greater than 10 meter lengths. These targets are consistent with our previous projections to achieve commercial production of second-generation HTS by mid decade.”

Pellegrino noted the second-generation HTS tapes made using the continuous process achieved current density (current per unit cross-sectional area) in excess of one million amperes per square centimeter at liquid-nitrogen temperature. In comparison, a copper wire of the same cross-sectional area carries 1,000 to 10,000 times less current. SuperPower has been routinely producing 20-centimeter second-generation HTS tapes and recently produced the first meter-long tape.

Second-generation HTS conductor is produced using technologies similar to those used in semiconductor industries. Technical challenges in producing second-generation HTS conductor include using substrates of flexible metal tapes instead of rigid wafers and employing a process that could continue for days rather than a batch process that lasts a few hours. In meeting the milestone this year, SuperPower was able to demonstrate that second-generation technology can indeed be scaled to a continuous pilot-scale operation.

In addition to the dramatically less expensive materials employed in manufacturing second-generation HTS tape, the continuous production method should also reduce labor costs substantially compared with the process used in manufacturing first-generation HTS material. These are viewed as important developments in achieving the cost-benefit ratio that is critical to making HTS technology commercially viable.

SuperPower’s overall business objective is to develop commercial-level manufacturing processes for HTS material and devices that will increase the capacity, reliability and quality of transmission and distribution of electric power.

SuperPower was granted an exclusive license for second-generation HTS process technology from Los Alamos National Lab last year and developed additional technology exclusively with Los Alamos over the past year. The second-generation HTS tapes produced by Los Alamos still hold the world-record for the best performance.

Intermagnetics (www.igc.com), drawing on the financial strength, operational excellence and technical leadership in its core businesses of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Instrumentation has become a prominent participant in superconducting applications for Energy Technology. The company has a 30-year history as a successful developer, manufacturer and marketer of superconducting materials, radio-frequency coils, magnets and devices utilizing low- and high-temperature superconductors and related cryogenic equipment. Intermagnetics derives current revenues primarily from applications within magnetic resonance imaging for medical diagnostics and cryogenic applications for vacuum and related processes. The company is at the forefront in the development of high-temperature superconductor-based applications that would provide increased capacity and reliability for transmission and distribution of electric power. Through its own research and development programs and in conjunction with industry and other partners, Intermagnetics is committed to further commercialization of applied superconductivity and cryogenic systems for a broad range of applications.

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Safe Harbor Statement:  The statements contained in this press release that are not historical fact are "forward-looking statements" which involve various important assumptions, risks, uncertainties and other factors. These include, without limitation, the assumptions, risks, and uncertainties set forth here as well as in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, including but not limited to, the company's ability to: (1) attract and maintain strategic partners for its HTS initiatives; (2) invest sufficient resources to continue its development efforts; (3) attract and retain the personnel necessary to achieve its objectives; (4) attain commercial acceptance for and adoption of its products and technology; (5) meet the cost-benefit ratio that will be critical to making HTS technology commercial viable; and (6) avoid the potential adverse impact on the company of emerging patents in the highly competitive energy technology field. Except for the company's continuing obligation to disclose material information under federal securities law, the company is not obligated to update its forward-looking statements even though situations may change in the future. The company qualifies all of its forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. 

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SuperPower Inc. is subsidiary
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