DOI: 10.1007/s11837-012-0349-6Pages: 782-788

Overview of Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Magnetocaloric Materials Operating Near Room Temperature

1. Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

2. Universidad de Sevilla, Dpto. FĂ­sica de la Materia Condensada, ICMSE-CSIC

Correspondence to:
Huseyin Ucar
Email: hucar@andrew.cmu.edu

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Abstract

The observation of a giant magnetocaloric effect in Gd5Ge1.9Si2Fe0.1 has stimulated the magnetocaloric research in the last two decades. However, the high price of Gd and its proclivity to corrosion of these compounds have prevented their commercial use. To reduce raw materials cost, transition metal-based alloys are investigated to replace rare earth-based materials. Environmental considerations, substitution for scarce and strategic elements, and cost considerations all speak to potential contributions of these new materials to sustainability. Fe-based soft amorphous alloys are believed to be promising magnetic refrigerants. Efforts in improving the refrigeration capacity (RC) of refrigerants mainly rely on broadening the magnetic entropy change. One promising technique is to couple two phases of magnetic materials with desirable properties. Second is the investigation of nanoparticle synthesis routes, with ball milling being the most widely used one. The motivation for the nanoparticles synthesis is rooted in their inherent tendency to have distributed exchange coupling, which will broaden the magnetic entropy curve. As proven with the cost analysis, the focus is believed to shift from improving the RC of refrigerants toward finding the most economically advantageous magnetic refrigerant with the highest performance.

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  • Accepted: May 23, 2012
  • Online: Jun 29, 2012

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