Optimization of Chemical Etching Process in Niobium Cavities

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Conference Proceeding

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Superconducting niobium cavities are important components of linear accelerators. Buffered chemical polishing (bcp) on the inner surface of the cavity is a standard procedure to improve its performance. The quality of bcp, however, has not been optimized well in terms of the uniformity of surface smoothness. A finite element computational fluid dynamics (cfd) model was developed to simulate the chemical etching process inside the cavity. The analysis confirmed the observation of other researchers that the sections closer to the axis of the cavity received more etching than other regions. A baffle was used by LANL personnel to direct the flow of the etching fluid toward the walls of the cavity. A new baffle design was tuned using optimization techniques. The redesigned baffle significantly improves the performance of the etching process. To verify these results an experimental setup for flow visualization was created. The setup consists of a high speed, high resolution ccd camera. The camera is positioned by a computer-controlled traversing mechanism. A dye injecting arrangement is used for tracking the fluid path. Experimental results are in general agreement with computational findings.


Accelerator-driven systems – Design and construction; Cavitation erosion; Etching; Linear accelerators; Niobium

Controlled Subject

Accelerator-driven systems; Cavitation erosion; Linear accelerators


Engineering Science and Materials | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy




Conference September 28 - October 2, 2004, Salt Lake City, Utah.


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