An international research team led by the University of Maryland has developed a novel elastocaloric cooling material that is highly efficient, eco-friendly and easily scaled-up for commercial use.
The researchers new cooling material is a nickel-titanium alloy that was sculpted using additive technology (3-D printing). Their work is published in the November 29 issue of Science.
Cooling technology, used in refrigeration and HVAC systems around the globe, is a multi-billion dollar business. Vapor compression cooling, which has dominated the market for over 150 years, has plateaued in efficiency, and uses chemical refrigerants with high global-warming potential. Solid-state elastocaloric cooling, in which stress is applied to materials to release and absorb (latent) heat, has been under development for the last decade and is a front-runner for alternative cooling technologies. Shape-memory alloys are found to display a significant elastocaloric cooling effect; however, hysteresis – work lost in each cycle, which causes fatigue and eventual failure of such materials – remains a challenge.
The international team of collaborators led by UMD Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Professor, Ichiro Takeuchi, has developed an improved elastocaloric cooling material using a blend of nickel (Ni)-titanium (Ti) metals, forged using a 3D printer, that is not only potentially more efficient than current technology, but is completely ‘green.’ Moreover, it can be quickly scaled up for use in larger devices.
“In this field of alternative cooling technologies, it’s very important to work on both the materials end, as well as the systems end – we are fortunate to have a highly-qualified team of experts at the University of Maryland, College Park to work on both ends,” said Professor Takeuchi. “It’s only when these two efforts closely align that you make rapid progress, which our team was able to do.”
Comparatively speaking, there are three classes of caloric cooling technology – magnetocaloric, electrocaloric and elastocaloric – all of which are ‘green’ and vapor-less. Magnetocaloric, the oldest of the three, has been under development for 40 years and is just now on the verge of being commercialized.
“The need for additive technology, otherwise known as 3D printing, in this field is particularly acute because these materials also act as heat exchangers, delivering cooling to a medium such as water,” said Takeuchi.
Takeuchi has been developing this technology for almost a decade – he received the UMD Outstanding Invention of the Year for this research in 2010, and the DOE ranked elastocaloric cooling, also known as thermoelastic cooling, #1 as the ‘most promising’ of alternative cooling technology in 2014 – and it is one step closer to commercialization.
“The key to this innovation that is fundamental, but not often discussed, is that materials fatigue – they wear out,” said Takeuchi. “This is a problem when people expect their refrigerators to last for a decade, or longer. So, we addressed the problem in our study.”
The team tested their creation heavily over a four-month period and still maintained its integrity. “Some known elastocaloric materials start showing degradation in cooling behavior after just hundreds of cycles. To our surprise, the new material we synthesized showed no change after one million cycles,” said, UMD’s Huilong Hou, who is the first author of the work and a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
The metal additive manufacturing uses a laser to melt, and then mix, metals in powder form. By controlling the powder feed, the team was able to produce nanocomposites which gave rise to the robust mechanical integrity in the material.
The research team also included scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, where the 3D printing was carried out, and researchers from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, who helped investigate the internal structure of the printed materials.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- The immersion cooling market in data centers is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 13.9%, during the forecast period (2021-2026on May 5, 2021 at 6:48 am
The future is coming quickly and that means huge data will be here sooner rather than later and with huge data comes a major demand for more energy-efficient and effective data center cooling.
- Cooling: there’s no longer one answeron May 5, 2021 at 1:17 am
Data centers used to be uniform. Today there are many different kinds of facilities - and an array of techniques to keep them cool ...
- Supreme Air Products providing industry leading Pneumatic Cooling Technologyon May 4, 2021 at 11:05 pm
Supreme Air Products represents a new generation of compressed air products. Their Pneumatic Cooling products ranges from Air knife to Vortex tube, Cabinet cooler, Air wipe, Cold air gun, Air ...
- College football powers sign on to Tigeraire’s helmet-cooling technologyon May 4, 2021 at 7:36 am
In the eight months since Jack Karavich, in partnership with LSU, created a helmet-cooling technology for use in sports helmets and other protective headwear, Karavich’s startup company, Tigeraire, ...
- Cooling Tower Market Report, Demand, Growth, Industry Drivers and Upcoming Trends – IMARC Groupon May 4, 2021 at 7:28 am
According to IMARC Group’s latest report, titled “Cooling Tower Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2020-2025, the global cooling tower market grew at a CAGR ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Extreme quantum nonlinearity in superfluid thin-film surface waveson April 21, 2021 at 6:55 am
We show that highly confined superfluid films are extremely nonlinear mechanical resonators, offering the prospect to realize a mechanical qubit. Specifically, we consider third-sound surface ...
- Further Phenomenaon July 9, 2019 at 6:52 am
In addition to the two main mechanisms of cell damage during cryopreservation (namely osmotic dehydration and intracellular ice formation), further phenomena occur during the cooling, storage ...
- The Road to Zero: DOE's Next-Generation Heating and Cooling R&D Strategyon December 11, 2015 at 4:00 am
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy The Road to Zero: DOE's Next-Generation Heating and Cooling R&D Strategy The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is supporting ...
- Dr. Wael Abdel Samad gets featured in the RIT’s faculty scholarship reporton June 23, 2015 at 9:57 pm
Such approaches include thermoelastic stress analysis, photoelastic stress analysis, and more recently digital image correlation (DIC). Abdel-Samad’s latest research project was a collaborative one ...