Report

Fatigue-resistant high-performance elastocaloric materials made by additive manufacturing

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, pp. 1116-1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax7616

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

A million times cooler

Elastocaloric materials can be used for solid-state cooling applications because they can pump heat out of a system using a reversible phase transformation. However, many such materials fail after a small number of cycles. Hou et al. found that laser melting of elastocaloric metals can create fatigue-resistant microstructures. A nickel-titanium–based alloy could be cycled a million times and still produce a cooling of about 4 kelvin. This processing method could improve elastocaloric performance and move us closer to using these materials more widely for solid-state cooling applications.

Science, this issue p. 1116

Abstract

Elastocaloric cooling, a solid-state cooling technology, exploits the latent heat released and absorbed by stress-induced phase transformations. Hysteresis associated with transformation, however, is detrimental to efficient energy conversion and functional durability. We have created thermodynamically efficient, low-hysteresis elastocaloric cooling materials by means of additive manufacturing of nickel-titanium. The use of a localized molten environment and near-eutectic mixing of elemental powders has led to the formation of nanocomposite microstructures composed of a nickel-rich intermetallic compound interspersed among a binary alloy matrix. The microstructure allowed extremely small hysteresis in quasi-linear stress-strain behaviors—enhancing the materials efficiency by a factor of four to seven—and repeatable elastocaloric performance over 1 million cycles. Implementing additive manufacturing to elastocaloric cooling materials enables distinct microstructure control of high-performance metallic refrigerants with long fatigue life.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science