A niobium-based superconductor is manufactured by establishing multiple niobium components in a billet of a ductile metal, working the composite billet through a series of reduction steps to form the niobium components into elongated elements, each niobium element having a thickness on the order of 1 to 25 microns, surrounding the billet prior to the last reduction step with a porous confining layer of an acid resistant metal, immersing the confined billet in an acid or a high temperature liquid metal to remove the ductile metal from between the niobium elements while the niobium elements remain confined by said porous layer, exposing the confined mass of niobium elements to a material capable of reacting with Nb to form a superconductor.
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