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January 24, 2011

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City academics' wire breakthrough

SUPERCONDUCTING wire - which as it has no resistance is more efficient - will soon replace copper wire in the national gird, local scientists predicted yesterday.

Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University announced that they have developed second generation high-temperature superconducting wire. This makes China the fifth country in the world to produce the materials.

"The technology is on the verge of mass production," said Li Yijie, professor at the university's physics department.

The university has developed 100-meter-long wires which can carry 194-ampere of electric current. In the next step, scientists will work to improve capacity and reduce costs for mass production.

Using rare earth oxides - known as HTS - zero electrical resistance at higher temperatures can be achieved.

Li and his team spent three years developing techniques, applying the HTS material to ordinary metals through laser coating, and reducing costs on earlier attempts.


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