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Compatibility of LaFe13−x−yMnxSiyH1.6 and Eutectic Liquid GaInSn Alloy

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The heat transfer rate of magnetocaloric regenerators is a topic of extensive research and the cyclability of these regenerators is critical to the operation of systems with a high coefficient of performance (e.g., potentially >22, significantly higher than typical vapor compression cooling technologies). To enable a high operating frequency that will result in a high specific cooling power, the heat transfer fluid should have high thermal conductivity and lower specific heat, i.e., higher thermal diffusivity. Eutectic metal alloys possess these qualities, such as gallium–indium–tin (Galinstan), whose thermal diffusivity has been found to be approximately an order of magnitude higher than water. For this study, the effects of eutectic liquid Galinstan exposure on the phase stability of LaFe13−x−yMnxSiyH1.6 magnetocaloric powders in an active magnetic regenerator device were investigated. The powders were characterized before and after exposure to Galinstan using X-ray diffraction, in which the phases were determined using the Rietveld refinement technique and X-ray fluorescence. It was found that after Galinstan exposure, hydrogen containing phases were present in the powder, suggesting that the hydrogen was lost from the magnetocaloric phase. The magnetocaloric phase degradation indicates that the powder was incompatible with the Galinstan metal in an environment with moisture.