Overview of the Performance of Quench Heaters for High-Current LHC Superconducting Magnets
Quench heaters are an essential part of the protection of all high-current large hadron collider (LHC) superconducting circuits. About 2000 dipole and quadrupole magnets are equipped with quench heaters in order to protect them against development of excessive voltage and overheating after a resistive transition. The quench heaters are made of stainless steel foil partially plated with copper and connected to 900 V capacitor bank discharge power supplies. During Hardware Commissioning campaigns and machine operation every quench heater discharge event is carefully analysed to detect a possible failure or a precursor of a failure, which could lead to damage of the heater or to the superconducting coils in subsequent discharges. This paper will briefly describe two different ways of quench heater data analysis and will present the heaters performance during the years 2008-2015. A summary of the quench heater fatigue test performed on a spare LHC main dipole magnet will also be given.