Available Technology

Production of Giant magnetocaloric Substances Using Commercially Available Raw Materials

The giant magnetocaloric material Gd5(SixGe1-x)4, useful for various types of refrigeration applications, from liquifaction of helium (4K) to room temperature air conditioning and climate control, has just become more cost effective with the development of this new method for utilizing commercially available Gd to produce it.
Patent Abstract: 
This new method allows for cost effective production of Gd5(SixGe1-x)4 samples of 1 kilogram or more, which have improved magnetocaloric porperties over material produced by othe methods. (The magnetocaloric effect is approximately 25% better than the first reported values (Physical Review Letters, June 1997) for the Gd5(Si2Ge2) which was prepared in 10-20g quantities by arc melting using high purity Ames Laboratory Gd metal).
The lower cost will dramatically improve the commercial viability of magnetic refrigeration technologies, which are environmentally friendly and efficient. No commercial method is currently available to use commercial Gd metal to produce Gd5(Si2Ge2) in large quantities and with high magnetocaloric effect.
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
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