Improvement of magnetocaloric properties of Gd-Ge-Si alloys by alloying with iron
Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, ul. Wołoska 141, Warsaw, 02-507, Poland
The influence of annealing of Gd5Ge2Si2Fex alloys at 1200°C and of alloying with various amount of iron on structure as well as thermal and magnetocaloric properties is investigated. It was found that annealing for 1 to 10 hours improves the entropy change, but reduces the temperature of maximum magnetocaloric effect by up to 50 K. Prolonged annealing of the Gd5Ge2Si2 alloy results in the decrease of entropy change due to the reduction of Gd5Ge2Si2 phase content. Addition of iron to the ternary alloy enhances the magnetocaloric effect, if x = 0.4 – 0.6, especially if alloying is combined with annealing at 1200°C: the peak value of the isothermal entropy change from 0 to 2 T increases from 3.5 to 11 J/kgK. Simultaneously, the temperature of maximum magnetocaloric effect drops to 250 K. The changes in magnetocaloric properties are related to the change in phase transformation from the second order for arc molten ternary alloy to first order in the case of annealed and/or alloyed with iron. The results of this study indicate that the minor addition of iron and heat treatment to Gd-Ge-Si alloys may be useful in improving the materials’ magnetocaloric properties..
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013