UMD-led team creates elastocaloric cooling material

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 has been 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. Shape-memory alloys are found to display a significant elastocaloric cooling effect; however, hysteresis remains a challenge.

The international team of collaborators led by UMD Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) 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.

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