Novel "Smart" Metal: Physical Sciences Invention of the Year

A novel cooling system developed in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) that is more compact, energy efficient, and environmentally-friendly than today's commercial refrigerants was named the University of Maryland's Office of Technology and Commercialization's Invention of the Year in the Physical Sciences Category.

The technology, created by MSE professors Ichiro Takeuchi and Manfred Wuttig, MSE adjunct professor Jun Cui, and MSE research associate Yiming Wu, was one of four chosen for top honors out of a field of over 130 cutting-edge new products invented and patented at the university in 2010.

The team's system is based on a two-state thermoelastic shape memory metal alloy that alternately absorbs or creates heat in much the same way as a compressor-based system, but avoids the use of fluid coolants with high global warming potential. The coefficient of performance (COP) of a solid-to-solid thermoelastic cooling system can be 102% more than that of a liquid-to-vapor compression technology.

For More Information:

Visit Professor Takeuchi's homepage »
Visit Professor Wuttig's homepage »
See "University of Maryland Names Its Four Best Inventions of 2010" »

Published April 14, 2011