Quench Variability



Evaluate the reason(s) for increased quenching from June to September and provide suggestions/solutions to reduce/eliminate magnet quenching during this time period. 


  • MRI Superconducting magnet cooled with liquid helium to 4K
  • Quenching is a massive helium boil off
  • Caused by small increase in temperature
  • Slips in wire-epoxy create frictional heat
  • More common during humid summer
  • Quenching costs time and money


  • Statistically supported hypotheses for quench variability
  • Determined how the surface finish of the wire correlates to slippage
  • Analyzed how environmental humidity affects the wire-to-epoxy bond strength
  • Measured moisture build up within the epoxy and test how this affects bonding capabilities 


  • Humidity is absorbed into epoxy and DMD
  • Humidity reduces wire-epoxy bond strength, determined by slip testing
  • Wire suppliers have chemically similar surfaces, determined by spectroscopy
  • Supplier with roughest wire provided highest bond strength, determined by microscopy
Focus Area: 
Manufacturing, Automation, and Control
Project Type: 
Project Engineer: