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  1. null (Ed.)
  2. Elastocaloric cooling, a solid-state cooling technology, exploits the latent heat released and absorbed by stress-induced phase transformations. Hysteresis associated with transformation, however, is detrimental to efficient energy conversion and functional durability. We have created thermodynamically efficient, low-hysteresis elastocaloric cooling materials by means of additive manufacturing of nickel-titanium. The use of a localized molten environment and near-eutectic mixing of elemental powders has led to the formation of nanocomposite microstructures composed of a nickel-rich intermetallic compound interspersed among a binary alloy matrix. The microstructure allowed extremely small hysteresis in quasi-linear stress-strain behaviors—enhancing the materials efficiency by a factor of four to seven—and repeatable elastocaloric performance over 1 million cycles. Implementing additive manufacturing to elastocaloric cooling materials enables distinct microstructure control of high-performance metallic refrigerants with long fatigue life.

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