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Sculpting Ni and Ti using Additive Technology - creating New Frontiers in Cooling Technology

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Published on : Dec 02, 2019

In a new development, scientists at the University of Maryland have developed a new elastocaloric cooling material. The material - an alloy of nickel and titanium is sculpted using additive technology. Furthermore, the material developed is highly efficient and eco-friendly and easy to scale-up for commercial use. The finding is published in the November 29 issue of journal Science.

Meanwhile, cooling technology for HVAC systems and refrigeration is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. Among all, vapor compression cooling is dominant for more than 150 years. Pertinently, use of vapor compression cooling remains stagnant for efficiency concerns and use of chemicals that have high global warming potential.

New Elastocaloric Material to take precedence over Predecessor Materials

To address this, solid-state elastocaloric cooling is under development for the last decade. Besides, the technology is the front-runner among a host of alternative cooling technologies. For example, shape-memory alloys display significant elastocaloric cooling effect. Meanwhile, challenges of shape-memory alloys remain: presence of hysteresis and fatigue of materials and eventual failure.

To that end, using 3-D printer, an improved elastocaloric cooling material of nickel and titanium created. The technique using 3-D printer provides two advantages: efficiency and is completely green. Furthermore, the advantage of the technology is easy scaling up for larger devices.

Meanwhile, for alternative cooling technologies - materials and systems both are important. A highly-qualified team present for both the ends at UMD College Park is a plus, said the lead of the study. Nonetheless, for make rapid progress in alternative cooling technologies, both materials and systems aspects are important, and the team at UMD college Park could make it.