Effect of the evolution of the secondary phases in the first sintering process on the microstructure and critical current density of Bi-2223/Ag tapes has been studied. The amount and grain size of secondary phases were characterized by XRD and SEM/EDS. It has been found that both the microstructure and critical current of the fully reacted tapes depended strongly on the secondary phases formed in the first sintering process. The (Ca,Sr)(2)CuO(3) and (Ca,Sr)(14)Cu(24)O(41) phases were easily formed and to be stable at higher temperature, however, at lower temperature, the CuO particles appeared easily and keeping stable with dwelling time. The best conversion to Bi-2223, together with the lowest amount of the total secondary phases was achieved when samples treated at 830 degrees C in 8.5% O(2), Samples with the lowest amount and minimum size of secondary phase produced in the first sintering process will obtain the best performance of the fully reacted tapes. The optimum sintering parameters are obtained by controlling the evolution of the secondary phases during the first sintering process. Crown Copyright (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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