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STI Provides an Update on Conductus Superconducting Wire Production Equipment

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- Completed two of three components for proprietary 1 kilometer Reactive Co-evaporation Cyclic (RCE) machine -

- Posted RCE machine photographs at www.suptech.com -

AUSTIN, Texas, July 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI) (Nasdaq:SCON), a world leader in the development and production of high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials and associated technologies, provided an update on the status of its Conductus® superconducting wire manufacturing assembly process. As previously announced, the machines required for the first two steps of the Conductus process are operational. The third and final machine, the 1 kilometer (km) Reactive Co-evaporation (RCE) system, now is expected to be operational late in the third quarter of 2014.

The 1 km RCE production equipment consists of the material source chamber and the vacuum deposition chamber, which comprise the hardware, and the automation software that runs the system hardware and manages deposition process.

  • The source chamber is installed; functioning and can be operated independently of the vacuum deposition chamber to be used for testing the majority of the software system.
  • The software control components have been calibrated and tested, meeting design specifications.
  • The vacuum deposition chamber is nearing shipment from the supplier.

Jeff Quiram, STI's president and chief executive officer, stated, "While we had planned to have the 1 km RCE machine operational at the end of the second quarter, to date we have encountered several delays related to equipment failures at our supplier's fabrication plant for the vacuum deposition chamber. We are working closely with our supplier to attempt to reduce the delays caused by these failures, but unfortunately, the vacuum deposition chamber is currently scheduled for delivery to our Austin facility in late August. We are prepared for final assembly: the external infrastructure is in place to position the deposition chamber and all internal assemblies are complete, onsite and ready for installation into the deposition chamber."

The RCE machine as built is within the planned budget. STI expects to have the system operational late in the third quarter of 2014 and projects a ramp in capacity during the fourth quarter of 2014. When the machine is fully operational in 2015, STI expects this machine to produce an initial capacity of 750 kilometers of Conductus® wire per year.

To produce Conductus wire there are three key manufacturing processes: (1) Solution Deposition Planarization (SDP) of a commercial-grade stainless steel or hastelloy template; (2) Ion Beam Assisted Deposition (IBAD) to produce the right surface conditions on the template; and (3) proprietary Reactive Co-evaporation Cyclic Deposition and Reaction (RCE-CDR) of high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials onto the template. The SDP and IBAD machines are already complete and producing templates that meet production requirements.

STI has posted photographs of the installation phase of the new production RCE machine on the STI website. You can find them in the "Superconducting Wire" section, at the bottom of "The Conductus Process" page. http://www.suptech.com/the_conductus_process_n.php

About Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI)

Superconductor Technologies Inc., headquartered in Austin, TX, has been a world leader in HTS materials since 1987, developing more than 100 patents as well as proprietary trade secrets and manufacturing expertise. For more than a decade, STI has been providing innovative interference elimination and network enhancement solutions to the commercial wireless industry. The company is currently leveraging its key enabling technologies, including RF filtering, HTS materials and cryogenics to develop energy efficient, cost-effective and high performance second generation (2G) HTS wire for existing and emerging power applications, to develop applications for advanced RF wireless solutions and innovative adaptive filtering, and for government R&D. Superconductor Technologies Inc.'s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol "SCON." For more information about STI, please visit http://www.suptech.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements in this press release regarding our business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the ability of our suppliers, who we do not control, to produce and deliver equipment on a timely basis; our ability to incorporate and fully assemble new equipment effectively and on time into our production processes; our ability to calibrate and use new equipment to produce wire in accordance with our timetable; our limited cash and a history of losses; the limited number of potential customers; the limited number of suppliers for some of our components and our HTS wire; there being no significant backlog from quarter to quarter; our market being characterized by rapidly advancing technology; overcoming technical challenges in attaining milestones to develop and manufacture commercial lengths of our HTS wire; customer acceptance of our HTS wire; fluctuations in product demand from quarter to quarter; the impact of competitive filter products, technologies and pricing; manufacturing capacity constraints and difficulties; our ability to raise sufficient capital to fund our operations (whether through registered direct offerings or otherwise), and the impact on our strategic wire initiative of any inability to raise such funds; the impact of any such financing activity on the level of our stock price, which may decline in connection with the sales under registered direct offerings or otherwise; the dilutive impact of any issuances of securities to raise capital; and local, regional, and national and international economic conditions and events and the impact they may have on us and our customers, such as the current worldwide recession.

Forward-looking statements can be affected by many other factors, including, those described in the "Business" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of STI's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and in STI's other public filings. These documents are available online at STI's website, www.suptech.com, or through the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements are based on information presently available to senior management, and STI has not assumed any duty to update any forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Investor Relations Contact Cathy Mattison or Kirsten Chapman LHA +1-415-433-3777 invest@suptech.com

Source:Superconductor Technologies Inc.